Friday, March 28, 2008

This is it.

****Disclaimer: Please be advised, especially if you are of the male species, or are faint of heart, I talk about a lot of "womanly parts", issues, blood and lots of details that go with losing a child in utero. Please feel free to read on, or please know that you have been warned. Thank you. ****

EARLY Sunday morning. We're talking 1 a.m. so early in fact, none of us had even gone to bed yet. So, I guess you could say late Saturday night, I was giving my kids a bath. (Yes, I realize that seems like an unusual time to be giving your kids a bath, but we had been gone ALL day and had JUST finished putting the new beds together, put on the sheets, and needed to give baths for church the next day. It was then that I noticed some spotting. It was right before I was giving the kids a bath, and it was enough to freak me out, but not enough to send me to the ER. So I called Flavio up to give the kids a bath. We talked about what to do. Most of the books say this is normal. I was a bit worried this time as this wasn't the first time in the last month I have had this problem. We decided to see how things went on Sunday and then call first thing Monday morning to see what the doctor wanted to do.

Sunday morning, I woke bright and early, I think 6:30 a.m. as I had to go and pick up LJ from the Shelter Home at 9:00. We had church at 10:00 a.m. It was Stake Conference. I was an EMOTIONAL WRECK all day on Sunday. I was feeling like an emotional roller coaster. I would be fine one minute, horrid the next, yelling, screaming, crying. LJ was not a good boy at church and my children were not the best either...and then there was me, not helping the situation at all, and Flavio not wanting me to do much since I was spotting earlier that morning. The bleeding had stopped, so I wasn't too worried. It wasn't enough to even worry me to wear a pad or anything at church. That is how I am talking, no worries. Anyway, Conference was great as we had a special guest Boyd K. Packer. I can't tell you now what he said, I had wanted to blog about it...but life was a little crazy that day. After church I just wasn't feeling tops. We were to go to Flavio's parents for lunch right after, but decided that I, and the kids needed a nap. I never did fall asleep, but at least the kids got in a solid hour. Still, I wasn't bleeding anymore, so I was feeling a lot better about that, but was anxious to call the office in the morning.

Dinner with the family was good. My husband's cousin was there with her new baby, and everyone took the kids outside to play so I got to hold little Daniel for two hours while he slept and I enjoyed me some "Shall We Dance". It was a good movie, I hadn't seen it. It was so nice to just sit there and relax after an emotional day. We came home, got all the kids in bed, and surprisingly all went smoothly. We decided to have Emm and Joth share since LJ sleeps with the door shut. (SO nice...can I just tell you. My kids would NEVER!) Then Flavio and I stayed up until about 11. We usually stay up watching CSI Weekends until 2:00 a.m. but I was EXHAUSTED. So we went to bed, and again, the bleeding was non-existent.

At about 3:45 a.m. Monday morning I woke up with the feeling that A: I had either "peed myself", or B: The fact which I knew, I was bleeding. I ran into the bathroom and indeed it was the latter. There was a lot. I yelled for Flavio, then started bawling, and shaking, knowing instantly that the possiblity of this pregnancy going to full term was not good. We got dressed, Flavio gave me a beautiful blessing. How he even found the words was just a testimony to me that he was not the one giving it. I really wish I could remember everything that was said, instead I just remember the reassurance that I felt. The promise that this experience would only strengthen my testimony if I would allow it to, and that Heavenly Father loved me. I calmed a little at that, to the point that I wasn't wracking with sobs anymore. Flavio called his parents and they got to the house at 3:55 a.m. Somewhere in there I had called the emergency line to my doctor's office, spoke to the doctor on call and he told us to go to the emergency room.

We arrived shortly after 4:00 a.m. Love that my husband sped the entire way. He is really mad he didn't get pulled over. Funny. We walked into the ER and we were helped immediately. The new IMC is 'da bomb! The nurse who helped me then was SO great, and reassuring. We waited a little bit when Dr. Burke a.k.a HOTTIE came in. (Edited to Flavio, that he was as BUFF and "TOUGH" as he is. Sorry honey, Dr. B was a little hotter than you. :( Hope you still love me. ) He had to have been my age if not a year or so older. Of all times to have Dr. Hottness, it had to be now, I hadn't showered in 24, and my eyes were the size of ping pong balls with their swollen redness. He talked to us about what was going to happen. They would do a small ultrasound, and go from there. They brought in the machine, and Dr. Burke proceeded to look for little baby Peanut and hopefully the heartbeat. He couldn't find one. I know that he tried so hard to find one, because he said, "Kim, I am so sorry I can't find a heartbeat, now that either means I can't find one because this ultrasound machine is too small, or it means that your baby had died." Commence ugly cry and me reassuring Dr. Hottie it was in fact that the baby was gone and it was okay for him to say so. I could tell he was hurting for us. (Dr. Hott had on a CTR ring, which for me made me feel a ton better. I am not sure why...but knowing he was LDS was really comforting for me at that moment.) Dr. Burke called down an ultrasound tech to take us down to another, more appropriate machine. It was his job to determine if in fact there was a fetal heart tone. Flavio recalls never seeing anyone look so hard for something. Flavio said he saw him type no fetal h/b, then delete, look again, then re-type. He then gave us the news that in fact the baby had died. He proceeded to give a full ultrasound, just like they do when the baby is 20 weeks. The glorious one where they measure, then tell you what sex the baby is etc. Unfortunately, they could not tell if our baby was a boy or a girl. There is a lot of discrepancy as to how old our baby was when they died. It could have been as much as two weeks. They aren't sure. I didn't want to watch the ultrasound, but looking back I am so glad that I made myself take the small glances that I did. I saw the beautiful little hands, and profile, and little tiny face. Those images are all I have to carry with me. I wish I had forced myself to watch more, but my heart was burst and I wasn't sure how much I could handle without totally losing it.

We went back to our room where Dr. Burke informed me I would get every girl's favorite exam. This nurse brought in "The Pelvic Cart". Really that is what it was called, she pulled out all the "necessities" and the special "speculum". Dr. B. literally says, "I'm gonna need a bigger speculum. I know that isn't what you want to hear right now." Commence joking laughter...and me just thinking get this the heck over with PLEASE. So he does his biz with that, then proceeds to "find my cervix". Poor Dr. Hott, probably only had to do that exam 5 times in his entire life, couldn't find my cervix. It was THE single most painful exam I have ever had. And believe me I have had my fair share...thanks endometriosis. Basically I wanted to scream..."IF YOU HAVEN'T FOUND IT...YOU WILL NEVER FIND IT!" I have a freaking weird uterus, once I explained that, he found my cervix and told me it was dilated. Lovely. So, he finishes his biz, is washing his hands and tells us that he is going to find the doctor on call and decide what they want to do. Begin ugly cry again, and for the first time in my life, I stand up for myself and said, "DO NOT SEND ME HOME LIKE THIS!" I refused to go home, suffer hemorrhage, pain, anguish, and have to dig my baby out of the toilet so they could examine the tissue. I could not handle that...yay me for freaking out. Dr. Burke said, "I won't make you any promises, but I will tell him how you feel."

In comes Dr. Irion. Holla to Dr. I. because he made us smile, laugh, cry, and feel better all at the same time. He gave us A LOT of options. Go home, stay and they could induce labor, or three, they could do a D&C. He said if I had come in a few days later, the only option I would have had then would be to induce labor and give birth vaginally. I cannot tell you how thankful I was for being 16 weeks 3 days pregnant and not 17 weeks. I don't know how I would have dealt with that. Dr. E. was going home for the day...and Dr. Larkin was on call. He came in and visited with us, they got us up to Same Day Surgery by 7:30. They had given me some morphine for the pain, and probably to keep the crazy one at bay. I was thankful for that because I was feeling REALLY good. Not so much emotionally, but physically. I was loving the cable on TV, and enjoyed me a few hours of "A Baby Story" and "Bringing Baby Home" on TLC. You should have seen the looks on the nurses faces when they came in. Something to the effect, "Why on earth is this woman watching this?" Ya, I know...but I did, I wanted to, my favorite shows, we don't get to watch at home. I sent Flavio home around 9:30 a.m. to check on the fort...and to get his binder with all of his client information, as he needed to cancel a lot of work for the day. Besides, it could be HOURS before they got me in. 15 minutes after he left they were ready for me.

They wheeled me up to the OR, and met with Anesthesiologist a.k.a Dr. Hotty #2. As they were prepping me, he was so great to me, told me to have a nice nap! And that is all I remember until I woke up. Now, if any of you out there have ever been "put under" you may recall what it is like coming out of the anesthetic. I have gone under once before, and I still get embarrassed about the things I said and the way I came out of it. This time was very different. I could not open my eyes but I remember being very clear minded. The first thing I heard was, "Hi, my name is Jenna, I'll be your nurse while you are in recovery." Two minutes later, I said, "Jenna!? Jenna. I really feel like I am bleeding a lot!" To which Jenna replies, "Kim, that is really normal to feel after this procedure." To which I replied, "No, Jenna, I really feel like I am BLEEDING TO DEATH!" Jenna ripped the blanket off of me at that point and said, "Okay!" Within a minute there were five people around my bed. Dr. Larkin was not far behind. I was being turned to and fro (still trying to open my freaking eyes that wouldn't work). It was like something out of ER..."40 units Pitocin stat", "something units in her BUTT, stat" etc, etc...there were shots in the bumm, two different narcotics pumped into the I.V. and one very nervous doctor calling for an ultrasound machine. They finally found one, he couldn't see very well, so he called his ultrasound tech down from the office. I can't recall what they were looking for, I heard a lot about "clots" and "fetal parts" to which I remember wanting to YELL...EXCUSE ME!? I am AWAKE. I don't think they thought I was. Anyway, Dr. L gave me three separate exams within a five minute period, each time literally pulling huge clots from inside me. And pushing SO freaking hard on my uterus that I literally have bruises. I was crying, so out of it, no husband (I was in recovery anyway.) Sweet, sweet Jenna took my hand and let me squeeze the living daylights out of it. I don't ever remember hurting so much in my entire life. All I could remember with my closed eyes and brief eye openings, the prayers that were going through my head. "Please Father in Heaven, don't let me die, let them get this bleeding under control." "Please don't let this end in hysterectomy, I don't think I could go on after what I have suffered." 40 minute hemorrhage. I don't think anyone is sure how much blood I lost. I remember when it had finally slowed enough, and the doctor just telling them, "We need to watch her for five hours." Not sure how long I was in recovery, it felt to me like 15 minutes, Flavio said it was more like 2 hours. I have never seen a better sight then when they wheeled me out and my sweetheart was waiting by the elevator. I just love him so much.

They took me downstairs back to Same Day Surgery, hoping to watch me for a few hours then send me home. These rooms are not equipped to handle (nor are the nurses I believe) what I had just endured. It was an awful four and a half hours waiting in that little room. I WAS SICK! I had gotten a SEVERE headache, from either the lack of blood, or the number of meds that they gave me, or a combination of both, that and I hadn't eaten in almost 24 hours. I was not in good shape. I slept for a while. Dr. L. came to see us around 2:00 p.m. did his "clot check" as I like to call it...feels much like an entire fist going in somewhere it shouldn't...wilst a painful push to the uterus through the tummy. Gah...pain. Finally around 4:30 p.m. I wasn't bleeding like they wanted me to, and the concern overcame the need to send me home, so Dr. Larkin admitted me overnight to the Women's Center.

I got up to the room at about 5:00 p.m. And waiting for me were some more GLORIOUS...(I say that with all sarcasm) uterine contractors...and THE SWEETEST NURSE ON THE PLANET. I know without a doubt that Heavenly Father made her my nurse. Marcia...she was so kind, and so loving, took me to the bathroom...and talked to me for the rest of her 2 hour shift. (Flavio had to go home because after all we had LJ...and no more babysitter for the rest of the evening...which meant I would be alone. I was okay with that, in fact, I longed to be alone.) Marcia shared with me her experience with mulitple miscarriage...always at six weeks gestation she told me. She talked about her two lovely children, now adults that were adopted through LDSFS. Dr. Larkin came in at around 5:30 p.m. to see how things were going...MUCH better...and luckily only a uterine push from the outside. (YAY!) He told me what a scare "I" gave them. Tee hee..."I" are you kidding me?! I joked about that. He was glad I was staying the night so they could watch me and make sure things were okay.

After Marcia left a few of my sweet friends came to visit, Wendy (whom I BEGGED to bring me her new baby...(the birth story if you remember.)), Cassie, Carly, and my parents. My little sisters came with my parents, I think they were really afraid I was going to die, and just begged my mom to see me. I was sad everyone came ALL AT ONCE...only because I would have loved to visit with everyone a little more one on one...(don't be sad that I say that, it was wonderful to have all of you, I just felt like I didn't get my full use of you...and felt bad for you. ;). The other sucky thing is everyone kind of left all at once and I was left alone to think about what I had just endured. The new nurse was sweet, but I could tell she didn't know what to say to me or how to act. She brought me lots of graham crackers and Lorna Doone cookies. Not my favorites, but I am loving graham crackers now. ;) It was hard to hear the baby in the room next door and to realize that of all the times I have been on this floor, visiting my friends, and remembering the last time I got "the green water mug" and had hospital bands, they would bring me a baby every two hours to nurse, and that I would get to take that baby home. I didn't sleep well. I woke at 5:00 a.m. for a shower. I just wanted to go home. Dr. Terry came in at 8:00 a.m. and signed my discharge, checked my progress and jokingly told me my husband would only get "two weeks of cold showers". Sorry honey! Breakfast came, and I cried when I was done and I saw the menu, and that my diet was the "New Mom" diet. I wish it had been.

I was dressed and ready to go. I was waiting for sweetheart to gather up the three kids to come and pick me up. I called him at nine...then nine-thirty. Looking back I know why he was late, because MY sweet, sweet Dr. Lloyd had come to see ME. He apologized for not having been there the day before, then told me about how his son, who is suffering from brain cancer was doing. He had spent the day up at the hospital with him. Commence bawling and tears from us both, as I told him he was where he needed to be. I can't imagine his pain, knowing that you could possibly lose your child after 30+ years of loving them. Wow. He also shared with me the loss of their first child at 26 weeks. The many tears that are shed, the wondering. He reminded me that it was okay to cry, that I NEEDED to cry. He said, "That is what makes you a good mother...your tears. It shows you love." Bawling. I needed to see him. He was with us when sweet Jothan was born. I remember that morning so clearly, Dr. L's own daughter was the L&D nurse, and I remember just feeling the spirit in that room. He was with us when little Emmaree took her first breath and I held that sweet little girl for the first time. He didn't need to be there when we lost little Peanut. Just him taking his time to see me was enough.

We got home at about 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning. A good friend from my old ward called me at around 4:00 p.m. She works in Dr. Lloyd's office. She mentioned how she wasn't working the day before, but as she was getting ready to leave the office today, one of her jobs is to put away all the charts that were used throughout the day. Every chart that is expecting a baby has a "blue sticker" she saw my name and wondered, "Where is Kim's blue sticker? It must have fallen off!" So, she proceeded to go get a new blue sticker to put on the chart. (How sweet is that?) When she opened the chart to find the billing for "One D&C and 40 minute hemmorhage". She just cried then...ran to talk to Dr. Lloyd. They talked for while, his little heart aching for us. It felt so good to hear how highly he thought of me. Because I was feeling like a trash heap by that time on Tuesday. I am so thankful that she called and talked to me for an HOUR.

This week has been hard. The only thing that comes close, as I said before, was our failed placement. The pain is very similar and very different. This time there is a lot of physical pain. Today has been the worst since Monday. But I am healing.

I haven't had much time for myself. LJ requires a lot of our time, he has a lot of appointments. I have had many talks with our family social worker with the state...and after yesterday I am not sure I can handle this. I made a promise to give things one more week. Today was a hard day. And after yesterday I am not sure I can see his mom go through her pregnancy. I don't think I am strong enough. I feel no malice toward her. It was not my intent to have anyone feel that toward her either. My heart aches for her...but I am not sure I can be the one to help her through this. I am trying with all of my heart to make this deal with my own broken heart and help LJ with his. We are all having a really hard time. I just don't know when something is going to give. I wish I could share more about his case. All I can say, he will definitely be going back to his mom, and if not her, his grandparents.

I hope that by sharing some of these things that I help someone who has gone through this same experience. I am feeling a lot of darker emotions that I am afraid to tell anyone, I may have shared with only a few, but there is a lot about losing this baby that has my head spinning. I can't believe that this baby is gone. I made it so far. I am afraid that this was my last chance at bringing a baby into this world. It is too soon to even contemplate such things. I just need to let myself heal. My arms feel so empty. I hate these feelings.

I hope...

You don't mind that I come here with my emotional "vomit" as one of my friends likes to call it. I would hate to leave you for a few weeks while I sort through my emotions. This blog has always been a place for me to get through my trials and share my happiness, I can only think of it as something that is helping me now.


As I took LJ to the second of his three weekly visits...

Me: Enter agency with little LJ.

LJ's Mom: Sitting in the waiting room already.

Five minutes until scheduled appointment time. What would you do? Make small talk right? This is how that went...eventually:

LJ's Mom: These kids are crazy. I don't know how I am going to do it with another one.

Me: Ya, it is really crazy with three.

LJ's Mom: I know, we are expecting a baby, and that little guy has so much energy, I don't know what I am going to do.

Me: Oh, how exciting. (Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie.) (And because I HAD to ask...) When are you due?

LJ's Mom: (Giggling.) September!

Me: How wonderful. (Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie.)

Almost three years ago when we went through our failed placement. That beautiful boy was due in September. We found out in September that he wasn't going to be joining our family. That is also the year this song came out. I loved it so much then, the words just helped me get through such a terrible time. Our baby was due on September 5th of this year. I am sure that September is going to be a little hard. Can I sleep through it again this year?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I honestly,

don't know how I am going to survive this. I feel naked writing this. I just don't know.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I've been thinking...

...a lot today. About a great many things. Just how much my testimony has been tried and strengthened the last few days. I am completely exhausted, but have so much going through my mind, hopefully some of this makes sense. I would like to share our story with you, in a few days. It is very personal, but I have found by sharing it, I feel like I am strengthened as are others. The pieces and glimpses as to why people "had to find out" about our pregnancy...even though it was to end in tragedy, are coming together. I had felt it all along, in some way or another, but it hasn't been until now that I realize it is to help others, and to help me to survive this.

I have been thinking a lot about my friend Michelle lately. As well as her husband. I have known them for seemingly forever. How many years now? I think 14. That is a really long time. I hope she doesn't mind my sharing a little bit, but the thing that is sticking out in my mind right now was their example of love and courage as they struggled to start their family. Often times I have wondered why we were lead to LDSFS. Because both times we were able to eventually get pregnant. I know I have shared this in the past, but when we were told we may never be able to conceive children of our own, very early in our marriage, we knew that we would not let that stop us. My friend Mrs. R. wrote a post about this a few weeks ago. I am so tired I won't take the time to look for it, but it is worth the time if you go look. Anyway, it was about having to adopt and choosing to adopt. The whole, glass half full, glass half empty. Either way, no matter if we ever had biological children, or if we never were able to, we knew that adoption was something that we wanted to do. My Flavio too, seeing how his brother was adopted, it was never a question. I think back to Michelle and Anthony, and how their example of love for one another, and the way their miracles came to them, has always strengthend me in my resolve to get my family to this earth. I just want to thank them for that. For that small push along the way, when I was growing up, after I was married, the beautiful example of what adoption is and how it changes the life of the child, the life of both the birth parents and the adoptive couple.

My mind has gone to adoption a lot in the past 48 hours. I don't know why this had to happen. I feel very empty handed. It didn't really hit me that my baby was gone until today when I went to the medicine cabinet for some pain medication, and I went for the Tylenol of all things (my script was right there) and I just had to laugh, then I cried. Flavio was right there, and all I said was, "I just realized I wasn't pregnant anymore." It is an odd feeling. One of the most difficult thing has been watching my sweet husband hurt through this. He is a quiet man, very humble. He hurts a lot. I would do anything to take that pain away. Anything. I know we are not unfortunately not the first to go through this, nor will we be the last, but want to share my feelings with you. And if anything, to keep a record of how I am feeling, 'cause I'll say I will write it in my journal and I never this is my remembrance.

Anyway...adoption...I'll end with...we're "finding" again. I have ordered some new pass along cards since my sweet friend gave them all away. And really, just how thankful I am for the people I have met through our journey at LDSFS, some of them have been my rock and my strength through this.

Sorry this is so scrambled, blame it on the narcotics. ;)
For your viewing pleasure...some photos of ME from Hawaii! Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


...just sucks sometimes. I thought this would be easier to share. It was yesterday after I had cried my eyes dry.
We lost the baby yesterday. I had some complications with the D&C so they kept me overnight. I am home now, but definitely not ready to talk about things. Hopefully I can and will share in a few days.
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, and phone calls from so many. We have a lot of work ahead of us with little LJ in our home. Time to jump back into life.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I had little LJ for five hours today.

HE was REALLY good, it is the dealing with my little two year old and him combined that had me thrown. Joth was SUCH a good boy today, he helped me so much. He was really concerned when we took him back to the shelter home. I assured him that indeed LJ was coming back in the morning. The shelter family wanted me to take him home today, I would have done it except we don't have a bed for him yet. We have a crib, but since we heard he would do better in a bed, we don't have that set up and we are preparing for him to share a room with Joth. I am sure these feelings are normal.

To be honest, I think I am losing it a little. This is a really good place for me to come and let go of some of my frustrations/insecurities/anxiety.

Flavio was gone all day, I think that was a good thing in one aspect, it lets me know I CAN do it...even though it is going to suck bad for about two weeks while we adjust. It wasn't easy without him. In fact he is REALLY late getting home and we still have a mountain of things we need to get done.

I have to just hermit myself, not go anywhere that is not absolutely necessary. If any of you out there want to get a hold of me, e-mail is going to be the best way for the next few weeks as I am trying to limit calls to family, caseworker, and clients. I just don't want anyone to feel offended, it is just one thing I have to let go to keep my sanity.

Well, I am off to Wal-mart for the last of the necessities and then to the furniture store to pick up the beds, then I am sure I will be up until one putting it all together. Tomorrow I'll try to post some photos of all the kids in their Easter best.

Have a happy day everyone, it is one of my favorite holidays!

Friday, March 21, 2008

We met him!

Can I just tell you how Satan has WORKED me over today? I dropped a few choice words to my husband and really to no one in particular. I could feel myself ripping apart. There was SOoooo much to do. I didn't get a nap, and I needed it more than anyone. I was REALLY anxious to meet this little boy.

We did it. And you know what? He is BEAUTIFUL. He was SO cute, and it wasn't until I saw him that my heart settled (not completely, but enough that I really felt I can do still changes it's mind from time to time.) I could really SEE him in our home.

I know this will NOT be easy. I am not sure what is worse, knowing it will not be easy that has me frightened, or knowing that he will go home eventually?! I think it is both at this point.

Right now we are looking at 8 months with him. Generally it is about a year. If it goes longer, there is extended family that will step in and keep him. Golly, living with that is tough. It would be so much easier to know he was coming and staying forever. This is the tough stuff they told us about!

Anyway, thank you for all of your support, and I WILL NEED YOUR PRAYERS. I am near unto tears every other minute today...I just need to be strong.

Out of my mind...

We got a call yesterday afternoon from our Family Resource Consultant with the state. She is the one in charge of choosing children who will be placed in our home with Foster Care.

We are getting a placement this weekend. A little boy, two years old. I'll call him LJ. We are going to meet him tonight. (Not something that usually happens, but because he is so little they like to 'transition'.)

I will be MIA for a little while. I have had a few of my friends call today and it has just been one thing after another. I am so close to tears, because, well, I am afraid out of my mind. I'm going to devote the next two weeks to the children in my home. And help this little boy transition into how we run things, I hope he is happy here. I want him to feel all the love we are welcoming him with.

Can I do this? Am I capable? Am I even a good enough mother to give him all the love he will need? I know I can do this, but I am afraid. :( I wish I were stronger and wouldn't have to admit that I am fearful.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I want to thank everyone for their PRAYERS, phone calls, e-mails, comments (31? Have I ever even seen that many in my life?!! Awes!), and most of all LOVE!
THANK YOU! Words cannot express that enough. THANK YOU!

About "The Thief"

A Story of Alzheimer's By Me

The actual story began many years ago, after my grandfather went into the nursing home (I want to say it wasn't too long before Jothan was born) I began taking photographs of our experiences there. This began at a time when I was NOT a photographer, I had no training, and the ONLY camera I did have then was an old Minolta SLR that had belonged to my grandfather.

Mostly the photos we took on visits were the normal ones you would take if you went to visit your grandfather. Occasionally I would stop by on my own to visit with him, and if I had my camera I may snap a few here and there. It was never anything I have shared with anyone. To be honest I am not even sure where all of those photos are now. But I did it for my sake.

Alzheimer's was such a thief to the life of this man. He is the reason I love photography. It was his grandfather that created the love for him (and me), as he was one of the first to photograph Zion National Park. When I inherited his camera, it took a few years for me to actually just DO what I had always wanted to do, since I was little and had seen my grandpa doing it...just taking photos of things that he loved...I wanted to do that too. Once I finally jumped in, I have never been happier. I often times wonder if the thief had not come into our lives what great adventures we would have had together. Would I even be shooting right now? I hope that I would. He would have loved Hawaii. I would have liked to have gone there with him. I think he would be ALL over digital. he would think my tele is the best, that would be his weapon of choice, I have his tele...a Sigma. Wow how Sigma has grown over the years. I remember asking my grandma how much it cost, "A Lot!"

Anyway, so this recent work of mine was really painful for me. For so many reasons. For two years I have been wanting to do this. Needing to do this, but to tell the entire "story" and be photojournalistic about it was more than I thought I could handle. I can't look at the photos without crying. It wasn't until a week ago that I got the call that this may be his time, as pnuemonia is raveging his body, that I needed to go, and that I couldn't wait any longer. I debated on if I could do it, I almost hired a photographer friend of mine to capture this for me. Only because I didn't think I could. I did it though. It isn't perfect, but it is what it is and to me it is beautiful.

I learned something great that day. Jothan was so sad/nervous. He didn't know what was happening, he asked me, "Mom, can I take a picture?" So I just metered for him for a while and let him compose and shoot. Then finally put it on Av mode and let him go. The things he saw, the way he saw them...tell another story...I'd like to share:

He took this one of me. I love it for so many reasons. He has this "natural eye for composition". Something my first photography teacher said to me, that was one of the greatest compliments I have ever been given and I am happy to give it to my son.

My grandfather. There is just something about this one. Even on Av mode it turned out. I love it. The line, the composition.

This one just gets to me. It makes me feel trapped...then he began shooting things outside.

These speak to me.

I'm taking away from this the hope that my son will grow to love what my grandfather and I love so much. That one day he can capture all of the things my papa didn't have a chance to do.
We had a very sacred experience last week, my grandmother told us a remarkable story about a blessing that my grandpa's home teachers, who themselves are frail and in wheelchairs gave to him. And after more than eleven years of wondering why, now we know!
I know you didn't have to read this, if you did I hope you take away some small appreciation for life, for memory, for your little ones. Hug them close. I needed to keep this memory for me most of all!