Monday, July 30, 2012

Perfect People at the Perfect Time

A couple of weeks ago I was driving around all of the Inland Empire collecting donated blankets one night after work (my usualy routine).  This process takes me awhile because I love getting to know the people I don't know who are donating and hearing about their lives and stories and sharing time together.  What should only take 30 minutes takes me hours. 

My last stop of the night was a woman in her early 20s who should enter Crochet Wars, if there is such a thing.  Her blankets looked so professional. But then again everyone's look professional next to mine.  I met up with her and her mother and father.  They were all so welcoming and caring as I entered their house.  I could have stayed all night.  They were some of the most wonderful people I have ever met.  They definitely touched my heart. 

This family was not immune to trials.  They have had their fair share in the past few years.  But ALL OF THEM WERE SMILING.  They all were happy, they all wanted to help others, and they all were amazing. 

They are set to open two businesses in the upcoming months (I will keep you all posted).  One is called Luxurious Events. They will be doing event planning, weddings and such.  They have beautiful ideas and materials. 

Their other business is Menifee Valley Buy and Sell Thrift. Both of these businesses will be in Menifee.  They want to get the community involved.  They will be having a Grand Opening scheduled for sometime maybe September and they want Blankets for Brianna there.  They have offered to be a Blanket for Brianna drop off location.  They have so many great ideas and I am so happy to work with them.  Having them help Blankets for Brianna is just icing on the cake.  Even without that, they touched my heart and uplifted my spirit.  Their faith could move mountains, they laughter and smiles cheers up anyone's day.  They were just the perfect people for me at the perfect time and made me feel even better. 

Thanks Morris'!!!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Finding Your Grief Path

This year has seen tragedy upon tragedy. Whether it be in our personal lives or on a national and international level, we have all had our share of horrific events.  We may feel like we want to give up or toss in that white flag. 

I wanted to start Blankets for Brianna to help myself through the grieving process of losing my only child and also to bring comfort and peace to other families during their similar trials.  After Brianna was born, I started to attend a support group called Compassionate Friends.  This group is for any child loss whether just born, or adults.  This weekend after attending the services of my dear friend, Dominc, I had the opportunity to attend their National Conference in Costa Mesa.  I learned alot, and can't wait til next year in Boston.

I felt it was appropriate to share some of the pointers I learned with you, as I know many of my friends are grieving. Many of us, may not have experience with these types of feelings, so I pray that what I took from the conference helps you all too.

*In loving memory of*
Brianna 01/13/2012

And Dominic

  • Try not to focus on your loved one's death.  Their death is a short time of their whole life. Try to focus on the positive and good memories.  (In this workshop, I shared that Joe used to always do this funny dance with my pregnant belly... He was dancing with his daughter. We don't have many memories since we had just a short time with her, but there are some and we need to focus on those).  If you can be positive, it balances out the grief.
  • The relationship with your loved one continues after death. Do not let their passing be the end. They are still alive even if not on earth. And love remains.
  • Emotions are only negative if you hold them in.  Let the grief pass through you.  Cry... if you are a male or female. It takes courage to deal with grief.
  • Just because you do not feel your loved on near you, doesn't mean they aren't.
  • Grief is internal, mourning is external.
  • Grieving is inevitable, misery is not.
  • Let go of the pain, but do not let go of the love.
  • Grief is a journey, not a singular event. How are you going through your journey?
Whether your loved one was 1 day old or 100 years old... whether this happened 9 days ago or 9 years ago... You are all going through a path and journey. 

Thank you again to all the friends and family who have stuck with me through my journey, especially my husband Joe.  He is everything I could want in a husband and lets me grieve in the way I need.  Also, thank you to the new friends I have met through Blankets for Brianna and through other support groups and bereaved parents.  I hope that I uplift you as you all uplift me.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chugging right along....

Yesterday was 6 months since Bree was born. Alot has happened. Our lives have been changed. We have been touched by her short life everyday.

Blankets for Brianna has had some amazing accomplishments.
  • Selected as the service project for the Corona Stake LDS girls camp and speaking about the project and my daughter. (...gotta write that talk)
  • Selected the Board of Directors- Myself, Tiffany Hazelaar and Stefanie Muhlhauser. These women have helped me fundraise and supported me from the beginning. They both have had children in the NICU and are willing to donate their time and talents to this cause.
  • Opened our business bank account at BBVA.  ** If anyone needs a new bank account, BBVA Compass is offering $100 this month to people who say that Blankets for Brianna is a charity they would like to donate to. The money is paid by the bank so there is no charge to you. After this month it will be $50, so still helpful for this growing charity.
  • An article wrote will be included in the "We Need Not Walk Alone" magazine by the Compassionate Friends in August. I will post when I get it back.
  • We are looking for other avenues to publize the charity and organization. I have a phone call set up with Groupon Grassroots on Monday to discuss getting Blankets for Brianna on their website. It is a website that is like Groupon, but for small local charities to get their name out.
Good things keep coming. I just need to get all my Form 1023 paperwork in order so I can get that turned in and hopefully returned by the end of the year. I would love to have this all done and recognized before Brianna's birthday.

Brianna has been such a bright spot in my life.  I worked on 4th of July- a 12 hour shift. When I got home and came up the stairs this is what I saw coming from her room.

I feel so blessed to have met Brianna and can't wait to meet her in the next life. Thanks to all for the continued support and love.

Tears from Heaven or a Welcome party?

I have been meaning to post about all the wonderful things happening with Blankets for Brianna, but this week my mind has been elsewhere.
I am saddened by the loss of a dear friend, Dominc Durden.  Dom is everything anyone could want in a friend and he is already missed by hundreds of people. As we go through this next week reflecting on memories we have all shared and preparing for the service, I will continue to have him and his mother in my thoughts and prayers. The loss of a child is tragic, and we are all feeling a glimpse of that.  I pray that his mother, Sabine, feels the comfort and peace of a loving Lord and Savior.

The day that Dominic return to heaven was the oddest weather for a July. The day before it was 106 degrees. The day he passed away it was gloomy and rainy. Some say it matched our moods. Some say it was tears. And someone said the thunder and lightening were his welcome party. Whatever it was Dominic will be missed by all. His spirit, his smile, his laugh... his bug eyes photo bombing every picture he could... He is perfect in everyway.

I love you Dominic. N4629 EOW 071212.