Exhale

My family is my world! I love that we can all be a little crazy together and not one of us bats an eyelash. My wife is absolutely an amazing person inside and out. She is the glue that keeps us together and not spinning out of control. My oldest daughter is our sensitive crafty one. She thinks about making others feel good. My 2nd oldest is our feisty one. She’s the one that keeps us on our toes and makes us laugh. Our son in Heaven reminds us that life is short. You gotta seize the moment and be good to each other. My youngest is our rainbow. Her smile reminds me that everything will be ok. We all deal with what life throws at us in our own ways. Having these knuckleheads to experience it with helps me find my peace in an otherwise high energy life.

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2 Years Ago

2 years ago I found out my wife was pregnant with our son, Leo!

2 years ago I was contemplating what my completed family, 2 girls, a boy, and my wife would do by the time our son was 2 years old.

2 years ago I was much more innocent in my understanding of life, death, and grief.

2 years ago I would have never thought that 2 years later I would have a son in Heaven and a 3rd daughter on Earth.

2 years ago I probably would have thought it strange that my family would build a 3 ft long pine casket for some friends who just lost their 1 year old son, Levi, to SIDS?

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Goodbye Baby Levi

Today has been quite the emotional day for a family we are friends with at Journey. Amy and Bill Fiskwald lost their 1 year old to SIDS this morning.

Hearing of this news stirred up several emotions for Angela and I. I can remember clearly everything that happened during the morning Leo passed away. What a shock it was. How could this happen to MY SON?

I understand the guilt that comes with SIDS. The shoulda, coulda, woulda’s. I remember thinking that if I had been a better dad maybe he wouldn’t have died. I remember feeling like I failed.

One thing that parents of SIDS need to hear is “it is not your fault!” There is nothing you could have done differently. The only symptom of SIDS is death.

After Leo passed away my family needed a few special places to treat and mend our souls. One of these places was and still is Disneyland. We go there a lot because we have much more mending to do. Today happened to be one of those days that we were already here when we got the news.

We honored Levi the best way we know how, next to the Matterhorn and Space Mountain. It was a difficult trip. I kept thinking of Levi and Leo the entire time. They would have enjoyed it here today.

I pray that Bill and Amy find a place that allows them to find peace.

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My Dream

A few days ago I dreamt I was over at my grandparents house. It’s a big home on a stone riddled green hill overlooking a congested overcrowded valley. My mom,dad, and aunt were there. In my dream I remember seeing Leo’s grave near my grandparents bedroom and a garden of tomatoes just off the concrete porch.

I remember that we realized the dirt and gravel over his grave was beginning to sink in. The family decided to excavate near the grave
to see if we could solve this problem without disturbing Leo’s grave. Upon completion of this project we realized that a sinkhole was beginning to form between his casket and the topsoil.

I decided to fix this problem by going to get some rocks on the hillside between the two houses next door. My parents got upset because they were going to do it “correctly” later. They tried to stop me from grabbing rocks. I protested so my dad retrieved Leo’s little casket and brought it over to me some 50 yds away. Some family members began to put rocks around it the casket. I became upset and scolded my dad. He picked up the casket to take it back and as he was walking back he dropped it. The little casket flew open but it fell perfectly so that Leo didn’t fall out. I was intrigued to see what had happened to him. Upon looking inside I saw that Leo looked a little thinner than he had. I was stunned to see his little arms
and legs twitching every so often. I couldn’t believe it! was he alive?

I picked him up. He wasn’t warm or cold. The strangest thing happened when I went to hear his heart beat, he had one!!! It was about every 20 to 30 seconds. I didn’t know what to do. I asked my mom to listen and she heard the same. Ask my dad to listen and hear the same.

How could I rebury my son if he still had a heartbeat?

Then I woke up and I cried. A bunch of snot came out of my nose and I cried some more.