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Always on my mind ...

by Sharon

Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2001

July 2000

My Mother had called me excited to say that my sister Kathy had just had a dream that someone was pregnant. Immediately were really excited as she has had the same dream once before, and I was pregnant. In May of 1997, I had my first miscarriage, a blightened ovum. I remember hearing my doctor tell me that there was not a heartbeat, that it may still be too early, I was 10 weeks pregnant. That reassured me, but still I thought, a child always has a heartbeat, what is the difference between a few weeks. My ultrasound confirmed my worst nightmare. I remember making all of the arrangements to have the DNC and including my mother, but not Bryan. I never had any idea of how Bryan felt, I guess I just dismissed it.

I was very excited since Bryan, my husband and I were actively trying to conceive a child. Before my mother was off the telephone, I ran outside and quickly told Bryan. Wow, a brother or sister for Zachary, another child for me to love and care for, and another child that Bryan would make the perfect Father for. With Zachary, now almost 5 years old and becoming so independent, I wanted more than anything to have the need to care for another child. I felt that we were ready for all of the demands that a new child would bring to us.

I found out in the same weekend that my best friend, Meridith, who had been trying to conceive was finally pregnant. I loved the idea that she was pregnant, but I was hoping that I was too. About two weeks had passed when I started to get the feelings of being pregnant. I took a pregnancy test right away, and it was positive. I was alone in the bathroom, and very excited, full of anxiety, thinking immediately that things will be changing.

Within a week I was going through Zachary's baby clothes and toys thinking about how soon I'd be using them again. I found myself doing this a lot.

I had a lot of morning sickness, but the sickness lasted all day. I never felt good, always quiessee. Nothing like my pregnancy with Zachary. I dismissed my sickness as every pregnancy is different.

September 2000

I was already showing. I had my first doctor's appointment, which of course confirmed my pregnancy. It seemed like an eternity before I finally had my appointment at the doctor's office. At this point, there wasn't much that my doctor could say except to determine my due date. March 31, 2001. I begged my doctor to let me get a sonogram just to make sure that everything was o.k. He knew I didn't need one, but he knew me, I was anxious. To calm my fears he approved for me to have one.

Everything on my sonogram showed exactly what it should had. I was relieved and already counting down the weeks to week 20 for the normal scheduled sonogram.

By the end of September, Bryan and I had bought a house. I, on our first night in our house felt very sick as I had been. I always told my doctor that something just wasn't right, as he reassured me that it was. I knew I was already anxious about being pregnant, but still there was something different about this one. I had even started to take sick time off of work, a few hours here and there since I never felt well.

October 2000

At 16 1/2 weeks pregnant I was sorting through some of Bryan's things, when all I could feel was something warm and wet. I went to the bathroom, and bright red blood was everywhere. I couldn't believe it, what was going on, it was painless. It didn't really scare me. It didn't cross my mind that something terrible could be happening, because I knew I wasn't loosing my child.

I called Bryan at work, and told him and he couldn't believe it, he asked if I wanted him to come pick me up, and I said no, and he asked if I wanted him to meet me at the hospital, I said no, that I would call him when I knew something. I knew I was fine driving myself, so I went to the hospital emergency room, on the way I was a little scared, making promises to god just to let us get through this. I was at the hospital only a few minutes, when Bryan arrived. He didn't have to come is all I thought, I guess I just didn't want to believe that something could be wrong. By the time I was sent to L&D, my bleeding had completely stopped. I was told that I had a low-lying placenta, which would in the next few months would move into position, and if it didn't, I would be forced to go on bed-rest during the last few months of pregnancy. I was upset by the news of the bed-rest, and had no clue what placenta previa was. I was diagnosed with PP, told not to have intercourse and sent home.

As we became more situated in our new house, I began to imagine where I would put the baby cradle, how the baby bottles would look like stacked in the dishwasher, and imagine the baby in the exersaucer, washing the baby clothes and the smell of the Dreft detergent. When I would sort dirty clothes, I would imagine putting all of the baby's clothing off to the side for a special washing. I'd imagine holding the new baby, bathing and changing diapers. I couldn't wait.

At one point in my pregnancy, I was asked by a co-worker, what did I want, a boy or a girl. You usually hear, "I don't care as long as it's healthy," I didn't say that, I said, I wanted a boy. I took it for granted that I was even going to make it through my entire pregnancy, I didn't realize all that could go wrong in a pregnancy, as I had no problems with Zachary and I guess until it happens to you, you just don't know about the serious health risks, there is only a small section in the baby book that I have that referred to health issues.

Back at work, I went onto the internet to research PP, and found the most horrifying descriptions of it. I was so upset. I left work and went home. I felt so helpless. I called Bryan, crying and scared. He came home and only had enough time to say, "IT DIDN'T MATTER IF ANYTHING WAS WRONG WITH THE BABY, God only gives you what you can handle." That made me feel better for a minute, because he was already gone back to work. I read a lot of stories about people who had had experiences with PP, and was scared reading all of the stories. I still thought, this can't be, it can't happen to me, but it was happening. I hadn't even made it to my 20-week check up and sonogram yet. I was stuck in this horrible world just waiting it out. I had a little faith, that at my 20-week check up they would tell me that my placenta had moved and everything was going to be fine.

By now, I was always feeling sick, and my emotions were peaking at volcanic eruption. I wasn't put on bed-rest but knew I couldn't do much of anything. Laundry was even questionable. I remember I couldn't stand for long periods, even to make scrambled eggs so when I would sit on the counter to stir them.

I was always scared, but didn't much talk about it, since it would worry me more, and because I was the worrying kind of person, I was probably worrying for nothing. When I did speak about it, I was told everything would be just fine.

By now I was bleeding all the time, sometimes it would stop and then I would think, it's done. It was like a game that my body was playing with me, tricking me. Every morning I would get up and check to see if I was. Most of the time I was. When would it go away? I would get so relieved when it stopped, but shot down and so disappointed when it would start back, it was controlling my life. It must have only been 2 weeks when I started to bleed heavily and had to go back to the hospital. I asked my Mother to go. When I told Bryan I was leaving, Zachary became very concerned, because I was anxious.

When I got to L&D, a doctor on call said that he definitely saw PP. I had to stay at the hospital until my bleeding stopped. I tried changing my pads to make it look like I wasn't bleeding. But, to no avail, I was there until it stopped. Mom went home, and alone it became reality that something serious was really wrong with the pregnancy. I called Bryan, crying uncontrollably, who didn't even hear the phone ring. I just wanted to go home where everything was normal. In the morning Meridith and Bryan both came to the hospital. I was scheduled for a sonogram and it was ruled out that I did not have PP. I was told that I had a 2-centimeter blood clot that just needed to pass. I called Mom with the good news. I was so excited, everything was perfect and that I was having a boy for sure and I was going home. At this sonogram, my baby waved to us, we saw his entire hand. He had the most perfect hand, and it was so defined. I now accepted the bleeding as a part of my pregnancy.

My doctor has gotten a bad rap because we lost Owen. I do not blame him at all. He did all he could of done. Except for to tell me with heavy bleeding the chances of giving birth to Owen at 40 weeks was unlikely. He scheduled a 3rd level parental sonogram at Christ Hospital just to make sure what Anderson Mercy had stated was correct. I now felt blessed as I was going to get to see the baby again. I had already had a few sonograms and I still wasn't quite 20 weeks pregnant.

At the 20-week sonogram, the parental doctor wowed the baby's heart beat, constantly remarked on the size of his body, and again confirmed that he was a boy, and that he was going to be a big boy. He also said that I had the blood clot that would just pass, and everything would return to normal. What was normal, I had forgotten.

On Halloween, I didn't take Zachary trick-or-treating because he hates costumes, but I wasn't putting up a fight to go as I had in the past, I was thankful, because I was sick. I remember asking my doctor if maybe I could have an incompetent cervix, he reassured me that, according to my medical records, and the fact that I had had a normal pregnancy, and with these symptoms, there really wasn't no chance of that.

Since the good news at the hospital I remember pretending that every thing was as they said it was, o.k. However, I was not o.k. I started to feel sicker than ever. I was always nauseated. I had to hold my stomach more so than ever, as it felt like it needed support. I couldn't stand but to walk.

November 2000

Friends and family were concerned by now, wondering if I should had been on bed rest, my doctor didn't think so, and neither did the 3rd level parental doctor, I was just told not to play soccer. I did take it easy, I had too. My body wouldn't let me do anything that I would normally do.

Bryan and I went to a Timon wedding. I was so proud being big and pregnant. Bryan kept telling people we were having another boy. I was now use to the bleeding, and even though I was very sick, I felt confident that everything was going to be o.k. I still hated to stand up, there was great pressure doing so. I was trying to trick my body into not bleeding, by always sitting down. That night I passed a rather huge blood clot. I thought to myself, "there it is, the mass that we had been waiting for." I was incredibly overwhelmed that it was over. During the next couple of days I still felt the same. At work, I passed another a blood clot. I was confused. It was as big as the palm of my hand, why was I passing another one?

On Thanksgiving, I felt to sick to even go to Bryan's parents for dinner, but he wouldn't go unless I did, I went and barely ate, and rested on the couch.

November 27, 2001

I went to bed not feeling well, I kept tossing and turning, and every 5 minutes I got up to use the bathroom. I thought to myself that I had a bladder infection, since I was constantly going to the bathroom and my stomach hurt a little before I would go to the bathroom. I wrote a thank you note to Bryan's aunt in the middle of the night telling her that we were having another healthy big baby boy Timon. I called my sister to ask her what labor was like just in case I could identify with what she went through, just in case something was happening that shouldn't. I realized in the morning that I hadn't slept all night, and therefore, again, was taking another day off of work. I called my doctor and he said to go straight to the hospital. Here I was again, on my way to the hospital, I called Bryan and told him not to worry and not to come. I guess I just think I can handle all of this alone, and still nothing could be wrong. I drove to the hospital slowly as not wanting to get there, and made promises to God, and even burst into tears on the way, wiping my face, saying how silly I was for worrying.

When I got to the hospital, Bryan was there, which surprised me. I told him everything was going to be fine. They checked for the baby's heartbeat and did not find one, but wasn't alarmed as he was moving around a lot. My doctor came in and checked my cervix, I was 2 centimeters dialated, he was upset, I was crying, but not yet realizing the consequences of what is going to happen. Bryan was outside waiting for the news. He was told, and by the time he knew I was getting shots to stop labor, and arrangements were being made to transfer me to University Hospital. I was crying, calling everyone that I could think of to tell them to come to the hospital. I was devastated. I was thinking that I was going to now go on hospital bed-rest, and Zachary would be home for the holidays without me there to celebrate it with him. Paula, a friend of mine helped me stay calm every time something bad happened in my pregnancy, it is like what she said always got me to the next stage. She told me that Zachary would get a huge Christmas gift of a brother, without that I don't think I would have made it to University Hospital. On my way, in the ambulance, to the hospital, I focused on the windows to the back of the ambulance, and every once in a while would see Bryan's car behind us. I remember having to go to the bathroom so bad, worse than I have ever had to in my life.

At the hospital, a doctor did a sonogram and told us that my water had broke and that my baby was going to be born and that there was nothing at all that they could do about it. I could see my baby's heart beat from the monitor screen, I could see him, he was perfect and to know that life would bring him death was horrifying. Did he know what was going to happen? I wanted to go home and get away from all of the attention, it seemed like a bad dream. It was possible that he would stay inside for 2 more weeks, but, since the water had broke, there would be a great risk of infection to me. At 24 weeks he would not be resuscitated, but at 26 weeks he would, simply because he is more likely to survive at 26 weeks, there is no hope for a 24 week fetus. Bryan and I had to make a tough decision to induce labor in 24 hours if in fact he was not coming. I still believe that I knew fully what was going to happen, but was in shock to where it didn't affect me as greatly as it will later. To see my child healthy and his heart beating inside me and then to know we were having him and he was going to die, I can't even begin to describe what that was like. It just didn't seem real. The hospital priest walked in and asked if we needed to make funeral arrangements. I couldn't believe it. I didn't understand what he was saying. Why would anyone ever ask me that, I didn't need funeral arrangements. In an instant I was going from being pregnant and having a baby in March, to planning a funeral in November.

My family was there, Bryan's parents were there. My friends were there too. Seeing everyone hug each other and cry, it was like I was having an out of body experience. I tried to cheer everyone up but they all looked at me like I was crazy, like I should be so upset about everything. I was, my face was so swollen, looking straight, I could see my cheeks. I just didn't want anyone else upset. My Mother was very upset due to the fact that my life was at risk, of which those concerns really scared me. I really hate to see her upset. Bryan was upset, and even though I know he is an incredible and passionate man, it wasn't until after that, that I realize that I shouldn't leave him out of these situations, they are apart of his life too. To see him in so much pain, I hated it, I wish I was the only one to endure this.

I didn't really have much time with Bryan alone, we didn't really get to talk about it until we were home. It wasn't like we had planned this, it was sorta chaotic.

Bryan said that he prayed to God, and God told him that something would happen at 1:30. Bryan didn't know what 1:30 he was talking about. At 1:30 a.m. on November 28, 2001, I started to feel what they mean by, "when there is pressure, it is time to push." I had to give birth to my healthy baby boy just so he could die, and everyone was just going to let that happen, there was no way of stopping it, there were no drugs that could help us prolong labor, there was nothing, but the harsh sense of reality. I don't know what came over me, but when I gave birth to Owen Michael, Bryan said that my soul left my body and for a complete second it was as if I was gone too. All I can say it this, he was healthy, innocent, alive, and came all this way to die.

I received a called from a best-friend, who should have been at the hospital, while waiting for Owen to come. She was confused about why I was delivering Owen. She knew that I was having a difficult pregnancy, as in the previous months I had tried to get her to take Zachary to help me out so that I could rest, but she couldn't she was always too busy. She really didn't have any interest in this at all. On the phone, she was sorta hysterical, asking what had happened. She asked me why I wasn't having a DNC and that it was nothing but a meatball anyway. She said something to the fact about my best-friend Meridith who was pregnant and said her baby probably had characteristics, but mine didn't. I couldn't believe it. I was stunned. I remained calm and told her that Owen was too far along in the stages to have a DNC. In February of 2001, I confronted her regarding her choice of word about my experience, and why she never called and acknowledged us losing Owen. Let me say that we were best friends since elementary school. She stated that she knew I had taken those words in the hospital harsh, so therefore never called. Yes, I did take them harsh. She denied ever saying them. I told her I was there, fully aware of what she said, that those were the most harsh words ever spoken to me in my life. How could I forget? All I wanted was acknowledgement of Owen. A, I am sorry, or can I come sit with you to just listen. She turned the death of my son into teenage issues of which everyone has and issues that had absolutely nothing to do with Owen. She is self-centered and uncaring. All my other friends have issues just as I have had or do, and they were there for me. All those feelings were put aside so that they could just naturally be there in a friends time of sorrow. She thought a DNC would be better for me, just so that I wouldn't hurt by actually seeing Owen. I love my hurt. I couldn't have it any other way. I guess if I had a DNC, she feels I would have just dismissed Owen all together. She is wrong and she is very insensitive and will never experience my sorrows or joys of motherhood.

I was afraid, scared, anxious, and sad. Bryan told me to look at Owen, and for 1 second I was very afraid of what I would see. Bryan had such a peace about him. I knew that I had to hold him too, he was my child, I couldn't do that to him. I had to be his strong Mommy. I did, and at this moment, time stood still. I will never forget what it was like to be touched by such a beautiful life, a short life, which will forever impact Bryan and I. He was bundled up in soft blankets. I unwrapped him. I wanted to see all of him. He was tiny, but still big enough and his forehead was wrinkly, his hands and feet were large from the family trait. He had a clean aroma about him that I will never forget. I wanted to open his mouth as it looked like it was sealed. Again, I don't think I was fully aware of what was going on, it was a very powerful and peaceful feeling. I know he is in a better place, and we are left to forever ask why. To accept it as it is, to forever miss someone you only knew for a short while. The thought that I am special because I lost my child is to me is an excuse. I don't want to be special if this is what I am going to forever go through.

At one instant, my hospital door opened very fast and it was people wanting to come and look. I told them they couldn't come in the room in such a rush. That they were going to see Owen 1 at a time. I didn't want a sideshow. I remember looking at him, and asking my Mother, "Why," and I again, could see the sadness in her eyes. I didn't want many people to hold Owen, just those family and friends that are very close to us.

Owen took his last breath 5 minutes after he was born. I hope that he was in comfort, knowing that we so very much loved him. There was a lot of love and a great sense of peace there that night.

Our family went back and forth spending time with Owen. Bryan and I held him, he was dressed in a very small outfit that is given to you by the hospital, his pictures were taken and his hand and feet prints were taken by the nurse. He even left the hospital room to be with family and friends. We were given as much time as wanted with Owen, I am thankful that we were not rushed. The hospital staff respected us. They hung a, "fallen rose," on the door acknowledging the death of our child. I could hear a women across the hall giving birth to her child, she was loud and screaming, "my baby, my baby." I heard the rush of an emergency C-section team running down the hallway, the stomping of their feet and the clinking of their keys and it never bothered me. I was asked if I wanted to be moved out of L&D, I said no. I know that I couldn't of been responsible for anything at this point, nothing I did or say I couldn't be held accountable for, which came the point when we were ready to give Owen to the nurse, and if I had know then what I know now, I would have taken pictures, bathed him, dressed him and stayed longer. We were with him for 5 hours. I know that I was not in my right state of mind. I miss him so bad and wish that I just knew that I should have stayed with him longer, but I didn't realize how important being with him longer would mean to me later, I wish someone with the same experience was there for us to tell us what to do.

Nothing was real to me. I can't explain it, as I said before it was an out of body experience. Everything was in slow motion. I could hear people talk but not understand what they were saying. I stayed focus on Bryan. He was my rock, my support. He was feeling exactly the way I was, but still looked as strong as he always is.

I was released only because I wanted to leave. It was about 7 in the morning, it was freezing outside, waiting for Bryan to pull the car around, I thought maybe I would ask the nurse if I could go see Owen one more time. I wanted to run as fast as I could to get to him, but I didn't even know where he was. My body felt like a million pounds, I couldn't get up. I wondered if the nurse even knew what I had just gone through. Before I knew it, Bryan was there, and I was getting into the car, getting in the car just like any other normal hospital visit. In the car on the way home, I thought about how wrong it was to leave Owen at the hospital, he was supposed to be with us. The guilt of leaving him behind to go about our everyday world seemed selfish. I wanted to go get him. He was with strangers. He was all alone in the big hospital. They weren't going to take care of him like we did. I was upset. I remember not thinking he was gone, but still with us, almost like I was pretending to still be pregnant.

I did not realize until later that I would never see my child again, seems as if you would be extremely upset in giving him up, I cried when I gave him back, but I can't describe to you what I went through after realizing that I did so many days later. I was ready. I was ready and wanting to leave that hospital as soon as I was allowed.

My sister was taking care of Zachary. On the ride home, I told Bryan that we had to go get him, I had loss that sense of control that Zachary was going to be fine. I wanted to make sure he arrived at school o.k. When we picked Zachary up, he was confused as to why he was even at my sisters house, he knew that it wasn't normal for me to just have my sister watch him on a school night. He asked, and I didn't have an answer for him, we were not ready to tell him, and I didn't have to hide my stomach as it was still swollen.

When we got home Bryan wanted me to go to sleep, I couldn't I stayed up for the entire day and night. I remember sitting on the couch and feeling what it was like not to be pregnant anymore. It was not right. I still hadn't full-fledged accepted it. I even believe that I felt movement in my stomach. In the middle of the day I started to receive bouquets of flowers and planters. I said to Bryan, "it is like someone died," he said, "Sharon, Owen did." When Zachary came home from school, he asked what all the flowers were from, and we didn't answer him, he got upset and cried it out, where were the flowers from. I told Bryan that soon we would have to tell him. As the days went by, we received more flowers and planters, by then, I being in my new house, hated my door bell, I had never heard it so much before. I today, love to hear the doorbell as it brings me back to that.

Bryan stayed home with me for a week. I needed that time with him. When he returned to work I was more alone than I had ever felt. He was given this time from work only to later be penalized for it. People are so insensitive. The only thing on television was the baby show on TLC. I watched it, and cried and got the chills each time, of sadness, but of happiness for the families, and wondered if they knew how fortunate they were to be able to get through child birth.

As the days went on, my breasts began to ache and swell, I thought for sure that this wouldn't happen since I lost Owen at 24 weeks in my pregnancy. I was wrong, I felt as if I failed in my mission to have a child, it was depressing. I picked Zachary up from school who was having a discussion with his friend in the back seat, talking about his mommy having her baby boy, I said to him, how would you feel if we weren't going to have a baby boy soon, and he replied, "we will just have another one." I said to him hypothetically, "how would you feel if you had a special guardian angel instead, one just for you," he said that he'd liked that. Bryan still didn't want to tell Zachary what had happened, he just wasn't ready for it. I went and picked Zachary up from a friend's house a day later and felt I had to tell him. On the way, I pulled over and asked Zachary if he remembered talking about guardian angels and he said yes, and told him that the reason why he stayed at his Aunt's house was because we were having Owen. I told him about how he was just too small to make it. I told him that Owen went to Heaven to be his very own special Guardian Angel, and that he had left something special for Zachary, and it was at home. He said that he knew what that something special was. He wanted to go home to get his special thing from Owen. When we got home he rushed over to the fireplace and picked up a stuffed bear that he had seen everyday since we had been home from the hospital, he just knew what it was, took it and put it on his desk in his room. I wanted to go to work, I was emotional and didn't want to be around home, so I went there for a while. Zachary told Bryan that he was sorry that Mommy lost Owen. He had to remind Zachary that they both had lost Owen too.

Zachary would ask us why did Owen want to go to Heaven and why didn't he want to stay with us. A five year old thinks Heaven is like an amusement park, a place someone chooses to go. He stated that he didn't want to go to Heaven that he just wished Owen stayed. The heartbreak that I feel for Zachary sometimes seem more painful than my own, as I at least, understand it all.

Christmas was hard for me. I put up a Christmas tree at the last minute. It was hard to be in the festive spirit. I did as much as I could so that Zachary could have a great Christmas. I didn't want to go anywhere, I just wasn't ready to be around people, because some of those people saw me pregnant at Thanksgiving, and I didn't want them to see me after losing Owen, I saw that as a failure. Some family members commented about us not going to family gatherings, they were insensitive. They had not just lost a child, they didn't know what it was like. I believe that my intimate relationship with Bryan would soon begin to suffer as I was given the o.k. by the doctor to move forward, but I felt it would close a chapter in Owen's life. I just wasn't ready to close it.

I bought a small treasure chest to keep Owen's belongings safe, including his Urn, cards, clothing and blanket, and I still have his flowers which have dried out, of which I plan to put at his grave when we are ready to move into that stage.

After the holidays, I returned to work. Some people did not know of what had happened and asked, "so where's the baby," and "how far along do you have left." I even had someone touch my belly and say, "what did you have." It immediately put me into shock hearing those questions asked. I would quickly let them know what happened, and include the fact that we were blessed with the time that we had with Owen. It is really frustrating trying to explain that to people who have never experienced it, they have no idea of what I was and am really feeling.

It has been 7 months since Owen's birth and death and the reason for his death will remain a mystery, as the cause is unknown except for fact that there was an infection in the placenta, of which could have happened after my water broke. I sometimes ask the what ifs questions, I ask myself what could I have done to prevent this, and wonder if I may have done something that God is trying to punish me for. That is when it is hard for me. I look at Zachary and I am now afraid that I could loose him, I hate the sense of him being somewhere and I am not with him, it's that sense of control that every parent feels, and what if something did, he would need me there and it would be too late. I get very upset thinking about this and snap out of it quickly because it scares me so.

Today, I believe that everyone has a life, a life that does not necessarily mean 70, 80 or 90 years old. I now accept that our children may not outlive us. Our child had a life, but a very short one, I accept that as his destiny. In his life and in his death, he had so greatly touched our lives. I can't again, describe what that is like, although sorrowful, it is beautiful. How could someone so small impact us the way that Owen has. Today I can still twist my wrist and feel the pain of my IV, is it imagination. I still see people who don't know about what has happened to my family and ask about, "the new baby," and I accept that. They feel sorry for my family, so I take the opportunity to tell them about it, to say that he wasn't a completely horrific experience, but he touched our lives in the small time that he was with us. Today, my heart aches for Owen, and I love to cry, it helps me. My tears now feel like Owen is telling me that it is o.k. and that it is a hug from him, which puts me at peace. Our lives have forever changed and we accept that. Not a day goes by that Owen is not thought of. He is definitely a part of Zachary's life, as we, together pray to him.

Today, in my new house, I am constantly reminded of Owen and the memories of being pregnant, as that was my first experience in the house. Today, I realize that family and friends have very different ways in supporting you in your time of sorrow, but also know that it takes a tragedy to really know who your true supporters are, which has given me the strength to close some chapters in family relationships and friendships. Today, I feel ready to help anyone who has suffered. I can support them, as I was blessed to have the support of my family and friends. Today I visit websites and remember other parent stories and when I pray I pray not just for me, but for all the many who have suffered. Today, the only thing that I worry about is whether or not, family and friends will acknowledge his birthday. I don't want everyone to forget. Today we are finding ways in which to remember Owen. At Christmas we plan on buying a toy and placing it underneath the Christmas tree at church in memory of Owen. We have planted a garden at our house and planted a tree of which we plan to have a rock engraved with a special message. And, In time, when we have enough courage, we will put Owen in his final resting place.

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