Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Chances we miss…
January 14, 2008

Has it been forever since I blogged?  Yes…can you tell life has been busy?!  October was a huge month for Tiny Purpose, followed by November and December which are full of holidays and preparations.  But today, I wanted to post something that I’ve been wondering about…I wanted to share this at the November meeting, but ran out of time…I didn’t want to share it at the Christmas party because it was our special night…and I don’t want to run out of time tonight…so I sit and share it this afternoon…

I read the book “For One More Day” by Mitch Albom this fall, and I found it to be poignant.  Over the Holidays, Oprah and one of the Networks made a movie of it–maybe you saw it, or maybe you’ve read the book…For those of you who haven’t, it is the story of a man who believes his life is over and after a tragic accident, finds himself spending the day with his mother, who had passed away. 

The part of the book that got me thinking was the idea of “one more day”…What would you do if you could have one more day with a loved one you have lost?  If you could have one more day with your baby, what would you say?  What would you do?

I have a hard time answering these questions…Would I go back to my pregnancy?  If so, I would want to be able to feel Hope move, which unfortunately I never experienced.  I would want to feel and experience a normal day of pregnancy with her and feel the excitement and joy of expecting your child that I was robbed of… I would take photographs of me pregnant…I even think I might have a plaster molding made of my very slight baby bump…I would tell her over and over again how excited I was, how loved she was, and how I couldn’t wait until she was here with me.

Or would I want Hope as a newborn?  The chance to hold her and look into her eyes as she look into mine…the chance to say “I love you” over and over and know that she is hearing my voice, and seeing my expression as I say it…the chance to watch her as she sleeps and hear her cry in the night…the chance to dress her in pink and frills… 

Even though I think the age of three is really tough, part of me wonders what Hope would be like at three and thinks maybe that is the age I would want her to be for our day…I would love to hear her chatter on about anything and everything…I’d love to see how her face had changed–did she still look like Kelly, or would I see some of myself in her?  What would be the important things that she would share with me about our time together and our time apart…

I have no idea what Heaven will be like or how old Hope will be when I get there, but I know that she’s waiting there for me and that we will spend eternity together there.  I know that when the day comes for us to be reunited, it will be a day that I could never have even come close to getting right in my dreams…but while I’m here, apart from her and wishing that I wasn’t, I can’t help but wonder what she would have been like and what our time together could have been like.

How would you spend the day if you were given one more day with your baby?  What would you say, what would you do? What do you wonder about as you dream of your baby…no matter how long it has been, we still all have moments when we wonder about the chances we missed…let’s share them with each other.

“Summer”
August 18, 2007

Today, I had the pleasure to read “Summer”, the latest book in Karen Kingsbury’s Redemption/Firstborn/Sunrise series.  The series chronicles the lives of the Baxter family, and honestly, Karen Kingsbury leaves no stone unturned in the stories…a daughter with a child born out of wedlock, a mother diagnosed with cancer, a daughter who discovers her husband’s affair just as he is murdered, a son and son-in-law whose lives are forever changed by 9-11, a son given up for adoption searching to find his biological family…there is so much going on with this family!  But the reason this series is so powerful is that the theme running throughout all of the books is God’s amazing grace and how he is ever in our midst, working all things for our good.  This latest novel is no different, though it addresses a new challenge, a new loss.

Two of the Baxter sister’s have discovered that they are pregnant together and without giving away too many of the details or too much of the plot, an ultrasound reveals that something is wrong with one of the babies. 

 I began this book knowing (thanks to my aunt’s who had read the book before loaning it to me) that the story of this precious baby was parallel to that of my precious Hope Elizabeth’s…knowing Karen Kingsbury’s work, I was excited to read how she wove the story together, how she detailed the emotinal process each family member took and I hoped it would be a book that we could recommend for our Tiny Purpose families to help them as they heal…I was not disappointed on any of these points, though I was surprised by the lessons God reminded me of as I read…I hope you don’t mind as I share them with you today…

1)  God is still God, God is still good, even when things don’t go your way…when we are walking through the valley of the shadow of loss, fear, heartache, and grief, it is so easy to become entangled in the “Why’s” of our situation, to try to understand things that are absolutely out of our control and our understanding.  But the bottom line is that we can believe God for a miracle, we can believe that good things will come our way because we are good people, but we also have to believe that He will still be with us even if the miracle is not what we wanted…even when the bad times come, he is still sovreign and still in control of the situation.  The bible promises us that God “works all things together for good for those who love him” (Romans 8:28) and it also promises us that He will “never leave us nor forsake us” (Joshua 1:5) because he has “carved us in the palm of his hand” (Isaiah 49:16).  You are never alone, and never somewhere that he cannot work on your behalf.  And just because the miracle is not the exact one you asked for, it doesn’t mean miracles are not happening all around you.

2) Sometimes when things hurt, it’s because they matter so much…as I read the book, I was reminded yet again of how much losing Hope Elizabeth hurt.  Though four years have passed, and I believe with all of my heart that the Lord has worked a miracle of healing on my heart and mind since losing my daughter, sometimes I forget just how much it hurt to receive a fatal diagnosis for my unborn child…how much it hurt to wonder whether I had made good choices throughout the pregnancy…hurt to deliver my daughter, knowing that she had already passed…hurt to acknowledge that my hopes and dreams for her would never be realized in this life…hurt to know that life was marching on without her as though her too-short life had meant nothing.  The loss of a child is a deep hurt, that I think never goes away–yes, we move on with our day-to-day lives, and yes, we move farther away in time from the loss, but as I laid in bed this morning, crying as I read this book, I told God yet again “This loss hurts so badly…”  Take the time to acknowledge the hurts and sadness when it comes…it is a vital part of the journey of grief we will continue to travel.

3) No one is stronger than our God…The mother in this story repeatedly sings the song “Jesus loves me” to her two children as she awaits the arrival of her third child, knowing that this baby can hear every precious word.  As the family spends time together with their new sibling, the oldest child begins to sing the best lullaby he knows…”Jesus loves me this I know…for the bible tells me so…little ones to him belong…they are weak, but he is strong…”  The mother hears these words that ring of a truth that strikes the deepest parts of her soul…though our bodies are weak, and especially that of a tiny baby, it’s okay.  No one is stronger than our God.  It is my prayer that no matter where you are in a relationship with God, or what you may or may not believe about Him, you never stop looking for the truth and that these words encourage you.

I pray that as you go throughout your busy schedule this weekend, you take time to reflect on what God has done in your life through your loss…take a few minutes and remember what it felt like to live your pregnancy, good times and bad.  Pull out your photo albums, or keepsakes–whatever you may have, it is a treasure!– and spend some time remembering your precious baby…it is worth the pain to remember that if love was all your baby needed, he or she would be here today–your love would have sustained them.  If anything I’ve written today touches a cord with you, share it with the rest of us…or plan to share it at group on Monday night.  It helps all of us heal to hear what we are each doing individually.

 I didn’t expect to spend the morning in bed, crying as I relived some of the moments surrounding the birth of my daughter…but I can also say that sometimes, that is exactly what I need to face…thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you…Alaina

Where are you in your grief?
August 8, 2007

Hello…I’m sure you’re all thinking “Wow…she’s really blogging!”  Yes, yes I am!

 Last month we had an awesome group with great participation by all…and as Kristin and Renee and I reflected on it, we thought it would be a good idea to post this question again, for those of you not at group, for those of you who maybe didn’t share at group, for all of us who are grieving and may need to revisit this question from time to time…I guess that covers us all!

 In the first Devotion of “Grieving the Child I Never Knew” by Kathe Wunnenberg, she poses the question “Imagine someone calling out, ‘Where are you in your grief?’ How would you respond today?  How would you like to respond a year from now?”

In first pass, maybe  a simple question, but as I thought about it more and more, a very poignant one.  Where am I now, four years after losing my daughter?  I am a completely different person, and as the month of July and Hope’s birthday have recently passed, I can say I am still a mother who misses her daughter and wonders what might have been…I couldn’t and wouldn’t go back at this point, but in my heart of hearts, I can honestly say I wonder…

I also know that every July I feel different…it’s not something that I am totally aware of, but it is something that is fact–ask my husband, family or close friends and they will agree.  In July, regardless of where I am emotionally, my body knows and remembers what was…and it forces me to stop and remember as well…

I would have thought that at four years out, and by my standards, someone who has grieved and worked through the loss, that it would be easier…most days it is, but some days it’s not…

 Where do I want to be a year from now? Still involved with Tiny Purpose, working to make grieving a little less lonely for the mothers who come behind me…still missing my daughter–I never want a day to pass when I don’t think about her–good and bad…still working to make everyday count–because I know now that what really matters in this life is not work, or things, but the people we love…

Tell me where you want to be a year from now…I’d love to hear your thoughts…Alaina

Rachelle…
May 29, 2007

I thought it would work the best to make Monday’s my “Thought of the Week” day…the day that I would start sharing some of my thoughts on how we can “Expect Joy”…but after the phone call I received tonight, I thought it would be more appropriate to share something else…

Please pray for Rachelle, who lost her boyfriend (and father of baby Amari, who passed away in January) today in a swimming accident.  Tonight, her heart and spirit are broken and I am praying the Lord’s peace and comfort over her and her family!  Though we know her grief and struggles since losing Amari, most of us cannot fathom the additional grief of losing a partner, and for that, I am speechless…please keep her close in your thoughts and prayers, and know that we’ll keep you posted on arrangements and if there is anything we can do to help her and her 11 years old twin boys during this painful time…

This Mother’s Day…
May 8, 2007

As Kristin, Renee and I have worked on the Mother’s Day cards and packages that we send to our mom’s who have had new losses and to those who have no children here with them, I was overwhelmed by the feeling that though these will help acknowledge the day, they just weren’t enough… No words said by anyone will be the right ones, nor will those left unsaid be any easier on your hurting hearts…

Dawn Siegrist Waltman shares in her book “In A Heartbeat”…”This is one of the hardest days to face with empty arms and an aching heart.  It is normal to feel overwhelming grief and sorrow on Mother’s Day.  My prayer, though, is that you will not become swallowed in emptiness to the extent that you miss the honor of being a mother today and forget the hope of spending eternity with your child.” (page 57, “Mother’s Day)

Though other’s may not recognize you on this day, know that you are a Mother and that no matter how brief, you gave your precious baby life.  Choose to remember, this day, the highlights of your time with your baby–happy times during your pregnancy, when you didn’t have a care in the world or pull out the pictures of your baby and choose to remember the good things about the time you had with him or her.  Most of all, choose to be a Mother this day–no matter what other’s around you do or don’t do, say or don’t say.

We are thinking of and praying for you, and I can’t wait to hear at our next group how you chose to spend your Mother’s Day 2007. – Alaina

Gathering to Remember “Expecting Joy”
April 23, 2007

Well, I needed a little down-time to process yesterday’s event before I blogged!  What a morning we had together…

19 women gathered together to share their stories of loss, hear words of encouragement and make some new friends and memories.  Our speakers for the day included Wendy Elarton, the wife of the senior paster at Bedford Christian Community A/G, who shared her story of infertility and miscarriages and the impact it made in her spiritual, relational and physical life.  We also had Kathy Goetz, the Bereavement Coordinator for Hospice of Lenawee, who shared on grief and what it means to “expect joy” in the midst of hard times.  We wrote poems about our babies, we had a make ‘n take in their honor, and we SHARED–scrapbooks, stories, pictures–over a delicious brunch prepared by loving hands!  Each woman took home a Tear Bottle keepsake, with a card on it to remind them that each one of their tears is important to God…  The morning ended with a tribute video, honoring each one of the babies represented, and a candle-light memorial service.

My thanks go out to everyone involved–the mom’s who came and shared their precious babies with us, Wendy and Kathy for speaking such wonderful words of encouragement, Rachel Bleich of Stampin’ Up! for her help with the make ‘n take, Char Horky and Rose Koch for catering brunch, Guided by Grace for coupons for all who gathered, Meijer for the table arrangements, Vicky Isley for our memorial bracelets, Jane Clark for assistance with our “technical difficulties”, Ronda Winans for the tribute video, Element Church in Blissfield for the candles for the memorial…the list goes on and on!  If I have forgotten anyone, please forgive me and know that we couldn’t have pulled the day of without you!

It is my sincere hope and prayer that all who attended went home a little lighter in spirit than when they arrived…

Before I go…couple of reminders:

1) June 11 will be our “Invisible Wounds” special event!  Plan to bring family and friends as we discover how an emotional wound is similar to a physical wound–it should bring some insight to those around you about your grief journey!  This will replace our normal group night (June 18).  Please register by June 7, so we can plan for light refreshments.  If you have any questions, email me at alaina@tinypurpose.com

2) July 21st is the 7th Annual Harvey Hiatt Memorial Golf Outing, whose proceeds go to benefit Tiny Purpose!  Start thinking of ways you can help–a hole sponsorship in memory of your baby, donations of prizes, or put together a team!  Once again, contact me for more info

 3) Finally, an early reminder that the 2007 Walk to Remember will be held Sunday, 10/14 at Trestle Park in Adrian…more details will follow!

 Have a blessed week and know that you are thought of and prayed for regularly…Alaina

TGIF!
April 20, 2007

Good morning! Sorry it has taken me this long since group on Monday night to blog…what a week!  Busy as usual around our house!  I’m sure it has been for you guys too…

 Group Monday was great!  We had 5 new faces who bravely came and shared their stories with us!  Thank you so much for your courage!  I’m really looking forward to getting to know these women a little bit better…We worked on a mailing for the 7th Annual Harvey Hiatt Memorial Golf Outing, our one and only fundraiser planned for 2007 and had a lovely time getting to know one another.

Ta-Da!!  Important announcement – Allison had her baby on Wednesday night!  Though her c-section was not expected for another week, she went into labor on her own and they did the surgery on Wednesday!  Baby Nash William was born around 7:55pm on 4/18 and he was over 7 pounds!  Both mom and baby are doing GREAT and I’m thrilled to go and meet him later today…please keep her in your thoughts and prayer…

 Last night was a big TP night…our first board meeting!  What a special “first” for us!  We met with 5 people who have caught our vision and we talked about everything that has been happening and where we want to go!  It was an exciting night and I know we’ll share more as time goes on…

 Tomorrow is the Gathering and I can’t wait!  It will be a morning of hope, healing and remembering, if you let it!  I’ll be sure to post again afterwards!

 Have a blessed day and I’ll see some of you tomorrow!  Alaina

A Walk to Remember
October 19, 2006

dscf2274-2.JPG   Sunday, October 15th, 2006.  It was a perfect day!  The sun was shining so bright.  I am glad that it was because somehow it made this day of rememberance even more special.  There were pink and blue balloons floating in the breeze surrounding the entire shelter at Trestle Park.  It looked like the biggest birthday party ever.  For some it was a party….a time to celebrate and remember their baby.  For others it held a more somber meaning of remembrance.  For all of us it was a chance to share knowing glances of understanding and loving respect for each others loss.  I wondered if I would be sad….but I wasn’t.  I looked around at all the faces who were there for the same reason I was….to remember…..to honor……to reflect on the precious life that was taken too quickly from me.  But it wasn’t sadness I felt, it was peace.  Somehow standing in the midst of hundreds of people who knew what it was like to say goodbye too soon brought me peace.   

Welcome!
October 6, 2006

Welcome to the Tiny Purpose blog.  This is something new to supplement our website to help keep you up to date with current information.  We intend to develop this sight to offer our mothers even more support in between meetings.  If there is something you would like to see on this sight please let us know and we would be happy to see if we can make something work.