Today is January 1, 2020. To others that haven’t been touched by loss it’s a start to new year, new hopes and happy beginnings. To parents that have lost a child it’s one more year that you didn’t have your child with you. This year is a pretty significant year for us, not only is it a new decade that Drew isn’t in but 2020 will be 5 years that he has been gone. Gosh, 5 years sounds so long, but it feels so short.
Last year I chose a word for the new year in the hopes that when my mind was swirling I could use it as a mantra of sorts. I decided to do the same thing for this year, my word for 2020 is BALANCE. Finding balance in my life with work, kids, marriage, self-care and Smiles From Drew. Making sure that I can be all to everyone that needs me including myself. I tend to go all in on something and it doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for other things. That is how I have been working Smiles the last few years.
This past week I’ve been thinking of what Balance will mean to me and how to handle that with such a pivotal year in grief. That thought then got me on the track of the number 5 and what does it mean…so that got me on Google to find out. So here is what I found:
Five as an angel number means balance. The website suggests to put your life in balance because you are always in motion and need to slow down. It means keeping a balance between the material things and the spiritual realm. https://angelnumbersmeaning.com/angel-number-5-meaning-and-symbolism/
I thought this was super interesting as this past week every time I reflected on the word balance the number 5 came with it. That is when I started searching to find the meaning of 5.
So end this rambling of mine, just remember there might be reasons as to why certain words or numbers come to your mind. You just need to be open to hear them.
It wasn’t long after I lost Drew that I knew that having an outlet to be able to get all the words out of my head was what I wanted to do. That is when I decided to start this blog. I wrote more in the beginning because I had more swirling thoughts. I did the posts more for me than anything else but my hope was always that if one person read them they would know they weren’t alone.
A few months ago I started listening to podcasts on my way to work. I first found The Kindness podcast. The podcast interviews all types of people that are trying to make difference in the world by spreading kindness in one way or another. I started searching for other podcasts that I found interesting. I started listening to the Grief Out Loud podcast and the What’s Your Grief podcast. I loved listening to the episodes since they discussed topics of grief and I somehow did not feel quite so alone in my feelings and thoughts.
I decided to email The Kindness podcast to tell them my story about Drew and Smiles from Drew and she emailed me back! Nicole Philips is the host and she wanted to interview me! I was so excited and nervous. We scheduled the interview and they called and I got the chance to talk about Drew and Smiles, it was wonderful. That is when I got the idea that I can start a podcast interviewing parents telling us about their children that have gone on before us. Give them a space to talk about them, talk about their life before, and talk about their life after.
Like any endeavor I have started since Drew died I just jump right in. If I don’t know how to do it, I just keep figuring it out. I’ve been researching microphones, software, and how to post podcasts. I had an idea in my head and just went for it. I’m so close to start interviewing other parents and getting the podcasts live.
I will be changing the name of this site that I blog on, the name of this website will be www.say-their-name.com. I will still be writing blog posts about Drew but I will also post the episodes of the podcast on here also. I sure hope you can join me on this adventure and we can hear all the great stories from parents that have lost children, giving parents a chance to Say Their Name.
August 5, 2015 was……
2 years 6 months
For me it feels like that Alan Jackson song “Where were you when the world stopped turning”. This is the date my world stopped turning. The date is etched deeply on my soul. I remember exactly what I was doing when my Mom’s neighbor called me. I knew from the tone of his voice something was wrong. I never once thought it would be Drew.
I think back to the few days before he died often. They go over and over in my head. I have people tell me “it’s not your fault. How could you have known?” Well I was his mother, I should have known. I carried him in my womb for 9 months and parented him for 20 years. I should have known. I should have known I only had a few more I love yous. I should have known we only had a limited supply of his hugs. I should have known that the last time was the last time. I would have slowed down. I would have really looked. I would have memorized the look in his eye. I would have held on and not let him go. Did I say good things to him before or did I do the nagging mother thing? Did I tell him how much he meant to me? Or did I just assume he knew.
Life takes hold of you and there are days that the only thing you can do is get through it. I hope I am better at doing those things more now with Madison and Molly. I hope they know how much they mean to me because I have told them and showed them. I stare at them trying to memorize their face in case anything happens to them.
I just can’t believe it’s been 2 1/2 years since I saw Drew for the last time. I miss him so badly that there are times I cannot breath. I feel as if one of my limbs has been removed and I don’t know why. The path of child loss is a hard one. It is unpredictable, it is painful, and it is lonely. Working with Smiles From Drew helps but there are days that not much helps it just is…..2 years 6 months ago.
Recently I was told I need to meditate. That if I could clear my mind from all the clutter of my everyday stuff I would be able to connect with Drew more. I’m not a meditating kind of girl. I’ve tried before and I end up just think of several hundred more things that I should be doing. I don’t do well when I have to reflect too long. But….I do want to feel closer to Drew so I have been practicing.
I read an article that said that when you meditate you want to use the same scent every time or listen to the same music. If you are trying to connect with someone, in particular, you will want to use a scent that reminds you of them or smells like them. That made me laugh trying to think of a scent that captures “Drew”.
What smells remind me of Drew?
- There is a time in a boys life when they turn from “toddler” to “boy” and they have this sweet sweaty smell. You cuddle close to them and you can smell that soon they will no longer be “little” but will get bigger and stinkier.
- Fried Chicken. It wouldn’t matter where he was, he would either walk in the door or call me when I was making fried chicken. I haven’t been able to make fried chicken since he died. It’s just too hard. Even just the smell of fried chicken brings tears to my eyes.
- Axe body spray. I don’t think you can have a pre-teen boy and not be exposed to the dreaded Axe body spray. I do believe they think it is a suitable substitute for a shower.
- After football funk….I have no other way to describe it. He would get in the car after playing hard at a game or practice and it would just darn near knock you over. I would roll down the windows and wish for that phase to be over. I wouldn’t even mind smelling that now.
- Juicy Fruit Gum. He loved Juicy Fruit gum. When he got his braces he was most disappointed that he couldn’t have his gum any longer. He would get recurring ear infections so chewing gum helped with the pressure in his ears.
- Little tree car freshener. When he started driving he loved to have one of those little tree car fresheners in his car. Now I know it’s because he wanted to mask the smell of things he shouldn’t have been doing but I can’t see or smell one without thinking of him.
Every time I pass a candle display I smell the candles and close my eyes and see if I can capture the essence of Drew. It hasn’t happened yet. I haven’t smelled one that is quite right. I may end up having to make my own candle. Who wouldn’t want a candle that smells like “Fried Chicken Boy Funk”.