Monday, June 23, 2008

Some thoughts

Usually I just use this blog to give my friends and family new pictures, updates, etc of Ansel.. I haven't really been the typical blogger where I post my thoughts and feelings about everything on here.. (generally I'm a fairly private person and just save all that stuff for my personal journal; that and I barely keep caught up once or twice a month on the pictures and everything!!) But I've had some feelings about life from a few specific incidences this year that I thought I'd write about.

There are a lot of you who read this who know about Aaron and her passing. For those who don't... about a month ago, I had a friend from church who was moving out to Utah with her three little boys(4, 3, and 1 years old) and an 18 year old girl she'd gotten to know who was going to live with them for awhile (Aaron's husband had already moved out there a couple of months earlier). Sadly, in Colorado, they were in a terrible car accident. The boys were ok, as was the girl that was with them; but Aaron was pronounced dead at the scene. My heart has really gone out for this family and the adjustment they are now having to make. (And also for the 18 year old girl who was driving.. I can imagine she's having a tough time as well). Aaron's sister Krista has done an amazing job helping out with everything and has been updating Aaron's blog..(I'm so amazed how she's handled taking care of the boys, the blog, and I'm sure just being a huge support to the rest of the family even though this has (obviously) hugely affected her life as well) But I just saw the blog today.. which prompted me writing this now.
The blog address is (for those who knew her or are interested)
There were pictures put on of the van and also from the graveside services... very, very sad :( But as her sister said.. just a reminder for us all to be a little safer when traveling and be grateful for what we have.

Anyway, I've just been thinking a lot lately about life and how grateful I am for it. How grateful I am for every moment that I have with my own family. (Of course after the close call we had with Ansel's birth.. I've thought a lot from time to time about this; how lucky I feel to be here and to have this time I've been given with my family) It reminds me also how I need to be more aware of how I spend my time... to make sure not to waste it with trivial things. (I know I do waste time sometimes too.. so I need to work on that more).

I've also been thinking about how grateful I am for the experiences we're given. When I think of the complications with Ansel's birth. . . I look back at it as a sweet experience. The memory of the awful pain and recovery has faded (ha.. I still remember it; but it's really not what I think about as much). I've adjusted to the fact that maybe I won't be able to have as many kids as I wanted to have (that was a tough one at first).. although who knows for sure how that side of things will turn out! What I gained from that experience far outweighs the hardships of it. I have so many friends that I likely wouldn't have because of that experience (and that was actually how I came to know Aaron better as well.. her first son was also a 28 weeker; so she'd come and visit me during my hospital stay. . . bring me preemie clothes; etc.) I'm good friends with all my nurses and with the NICU staff; and every time I run into them there because I'm visiting someone, it's always catching up with friends now.

Also, just like my friends who used there experiences to help me at our time.. I've been able to use my experience to help others, a little at least. In January (exactly two years after I got out of the hosptial) our good friends Darwin and Dania also had a little preemie girl (30 weeks). They're from Honduras and so they didn't have any family here, and told us we were their family. She had some complications similar to mine (her wound even split open a little bit on one side) and there were kidney tests that had to be done, etc. So, it felt so natural to try to comfort her through that since I'd already gone through that myself. She'd tell me "I just kept thinking about Ansel" and knew things would be all right. It was good too for Cody to be able to relate so easily with Darwin about it because it is a completely different situation to be on the guys side.. worrying about their wife and baby (and having to go back and forth from visiting in the NICU and seeing your wife) not to mention still having responsibilities with work and everything else. I always admired Cody's strength through all of that.
I was kind of thinking about all of this again because also, near the end of last week, our friends Trevor and Melissa had their baby girl really early too(31 weeks... she was a tiny 31 weeker though... only weighing a few ounces more than Ansel did at 28 weeks). Melissa also had high blood pressure/toxemia issues as well; but we're very glad both her and her baby are doing well, and that they have great family support here. (I know that really helped us out.. having all of our family and friends to help us and pray for us)

(All three of us... Melissa, Dania, and I were working in Young Women's (at our church) at the time we had our babies early due to toxemia/preclampsia, etc; so the Young Women's President said "I've decided I must be toxic... giving you all toxemia.. no more pregnant women are allowed to work in Young Women's around me!" She's funny.. seriously though I hope she knows she had nothing to do with it! :) We love you Penny! )

I'm just grateful though that we're prepared for the experiences we receive. (Maybe not always, but it's been my experience that, at least later on, looking back, I can see how Heavenly Father has helped prepare me for the things that come my way) The first time I saw preemies in person, TINY preemies, was in high school when I got to go to the NICU for a job shadowing day.. it was one of those things that was just engraved into my memory. Then, when I was pregnant, my friend Jovi had talked about how she'd had preclampsia and HELLPS Syndrome (both of which I ended up with) so while I didn't really know a lot about them, I was at least a little familiar with them. The night my placenta abrupted, I was in so much pain as we drove to the hospital and I KNEW that I would be having Ansel pretty much as soon as we got there.. (the way I felt.. I knew there was no way I could keep him in longer.. and we were lucky to get him that far at least!) I was grateful though that I knew just enough about preemies (although not much) to know that he could survive at that point. I was in too bad of shape to stress about whether or not he would live, and I was blessed to just KNOW that he would be just fine.

So, I'm grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. It has blessed my life so much, and has blessed every aspect of my life. I'm grateful that we have the knowledge that families can be together forever. What an amazing blessing to know that... to know that there is so much more than just our time here on earth. It really helps put things in perspective sometimes. I'm grateful that we can receive direction for our own lives through the guidance of the Holy Ghost. I feel so grateful to have these things in my life. Sorry for the incredibly long post.. but I had a lot of thoughts on my mind that I thought I'd share at this time. I'm grateful for all of my friends and family.. I love you all. Thanks for all you do to bless our lives!


Michelle Church said...

How sad Kerri!! I just cried and cried. It's sad how it sometimes takes such tragic, trying things in our lives to wake us up. I am grateful for my family every day, but at times when I hear of such sad situations, does my love and appreciation grow even deeper for the family and friends that I have.

Times like these are SO hard, I can only imagine! I can't even begin to dream how it must feel for those who are not LDS. We are truly blessed to have the gospel in our lives. I really enjoyed reading your post and reading what was in your soul!!

I'm so sorry about Aaron!!

Anne said...

Kerri, I read a lot of blogs and never post comments but I have been having some similar thoughts that you have had. I was able to go on vacation this last week to the Grand Canyon and I was just so grateful I had the ability to go and experience that. It was a ten mile hike to where we went so some people who are not as able would not be able to do it. I was just grateful I could go and enjoy the beautiful scenery. A little different from your thoughts but kind of similar. I hope you are doing well and enjoying your summer. I am still busy in grad school. One more year! Happy 4th. Anne

Billy and Amanda said...

Kerri! You are so great. I love talking to you and seeing you and your family each week. It has been so much fun to see Ansel grow up, and i love it when we comes running at the end of sacrament meeting to give me a hug. It makes me feel so special. He is a very special kid and he knows when I need that. It is amazing what experiences life brings us; to look back on them and to see how Heavenly Father prepared us for them and how He blessed us.
You are such a great friend. Thank you for your love and support through my trial.