A blog about family life and remembering our sweet Georgia, who died of SMA.
Welcome to Georgia's Journey
Georgia Lily Lucas was born at home on October 6th, 2008 4:15am, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She was diagnosed with SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) on April 1, 2009.
On April 3rd Georgia was taken home, to be near her sisters and the rest of her family and friends. Nearly three weeks later, on April 21, 2009, she died peacefully -- in the loving arms of her mother and in the same room in which she was born.
Happy Birthday Sweet Girl! Maya turned 3 years old today. We had planned on having a fun outdoor party, but because it hasn't stopped raining since yesterday afternoon the kids had a fun indoor party. For me that meant ushering 16 kids down into the basement where they seemed to have a blast! The rain did let up for a little while, just long enough for Mike to barbecue a whole bunch of hot dogs and hamburgers. I wonder if a little angel might have had something to do with that. Maybe she was feeling bad for daddy having to barbecue in the down pour.
Maya chose a Dora cake this year and a My Little Pony pinata. Uncle Kevin and Auntie Melissa showed up just before the party to present her with their gift, a special costume. She wore her Snow White outfit through the whole party except for lunch where she stripped down into her undies so as not to dirty the costume. : ) Thank you to everyone that came. We all had a great time. She is now settled down to watch a movie in her Minnie Mouse swimsuit. She does love to change clothes!
To honour Georgie, we have a few balloons. The girls are excited to release the pink one as soon as it stops raining so that she will have a special birthday balloon. She would have loved all of the kids today and would have taken in all of the chaos with a calm grin. One of my friends recently commented that with all of the balloons being sent up to Georgie, she could have her own ballon pit by now. The vision of Georgia bouncing around in a bunch of balloons always makes me smile.
Today we met our friends Nat, Hannah, Eva and Ethan at the mall. They had decided that their gift for Maya's 3rd birthday would be a Build-A-Bear. Hannah and Eva brought along their special stuffies and Calla got to build one along side Maya. Calla chose the lamb, no surprise there for those of you that know her. Maya chose a dark brown bear like Hannah's. Maya wasn't into the picking and stuffing of the bear. She wouldn't even cooperate with the woman who was trying to get her to help with the heart. All that she wanted to do was comb and dress the bear. In the end, she picked the sparkly red shoes which remind me of Dorothy's from The Wizard of Oz and the shiny pink dress. Maya just loves shiny and sparkly! : ) Calla on the other hand wanted to pick out some rainbow colored clothes. She got the rainbow top and shoes but refused to pick out any bottoms for her poor lamb because none of them were rainbow colored! Whatever, everybody left happy! Tomorrow our little girl turns 3. I'm off to do some of the prep work.
Thank you Kristy, Jay, Gracie, Bella and of course Molly for collecting books for the Children's hospital for Molly's birthday. We continue to be touched by all of the generous ways people keep moving forward.
Sandee, I'd love to get together for a pool party! Let me know and tell Kennedy that I am touched by the fact that she named one of her flowers Georgia. We have My Little Ponies, Baby Dolls, puppies and all kinds of toys named Georgia around here. One of our friends' daughters (3) has a baby doll named Georgia too. You're right, she continues to bring love into people's homes and lives.
Love to you all,
P.S. Mike has also added some pictures from Tinsley and Carling's chocolate-dipping party at Morden's Chocolates ... see "Confessions"!
The other day one of my friends remarked as I held her 6 month old son, "I just can't believe that you can hold babies." I was kind of surprised by the comment because she is somebody that I know rather well. For those of you that don't know me very well I love babies. I always have. In fact, I love them so much that for a while I considered doing the training to become a doula. I am also surrounded by babies. I think that it has to do with my age and stage of life. I have many friends with children under two.
Now, I understand how many people would have a hard time being around babies or pregnant women after losing a child. I was actually afraid that this would be me. So far however, that hasn't happened. Since Georgie died, I have held many babies, attended two 'first' birthdays and one baby shower. At no time did I ever look at any of these babies and feel any kind of negative feelings. I admit that at the two birthday parties I wished that Georgie could have been there to have fun with the rest of us.
For those of you that hesitate as you approach me or look awkward as you glance from your little one to me, please stop. While you may think that you cover your feelings well they are painfully obvious. Mike and I have not given up all hope of having another child. We just aren't there right now. We both love children and find it hard when you try to 'protect' us. We are both honest and straight forward people and if we are uncomfortable we will let you know. While losing Georgia has been amazingly difficult we still feel blessed to have 3 beautiful children even if we can't always see our youngest.
Sweet dreams to all of the little babies in my life (and to their mommies too!)
When I was 13 I could spend hours in my room listening to music. Anybody remember being 13? It is a truly defining time in your life. You are trying to figure out who you are. It also kind of sucks to be 13. You're not really a kid anymore and you're not an adult either. You want the independence of someone older and the comfort of someone younger. Like I said, when I was 13 I spent hours listening to music. Now that I am as old as I am : ) I find myself doing the same thing. Georgie brought the music back into my life.
After Calla and Maya were born the car became home to Fred Penner and Backyardigans music. While I certainly don't mind the music, after you've heard the same song for the hundredth time in a few days you start to tune it out. I am not kidding. Calla was so in love with Fred Penner that he was the only cd in the car for over a year. When Georgia was born and seemed to love music so much we started branching out a little bit. I discovered that all 3 of my children love U2 and many other pop songs. When Georgie was admitted into the hospital we played mostly lullabies to keep her calm but once we got home we played all kinds of stuff. I actually know the song that was playing as she took her last breath. It was Buffalo Soldier on the Bob Marley lullubies cd.
Where am I going with all of this music talk? Besides the fact, that I am happy to have rediscovered music I have come to realize something. I am very much like a 13 year old again trying to figure out who I am. Do you remember how at 13 you could be having the time of your life and then somebody could say something or you would think of something and all of your confidence was shaken? Do you remember how you could feel so passionately about things that you were easily brought to tears? Okay that one is for the ladies! Do you remember how you felt like you could do anything or become anyone but you weren't sure what? That's my life now. I am 13 again. Unsure, shaky confidence and yet I have a belief that I am on my way.
Thank you to Maureen and the gang in Oakbank for their fundraising pool tournament for Children's and SMA research. If anyone is still considering donating to Chidren's on behalf of Georgia we ask that you kindly consider having your donation directed towards Pediatric Palliative Care. Our heroes will take it from there.
Tomorrow will mark nine weeks that Georgia is gone. That makes it day 62 as I write this. I still find myself looking around and wondering where she is and how she can possibly be gone. At night, I lie in bed and wonder how my heart is still beating and my lungs are still filling with air. Calla announced yesterday that Georgia should just tell God, "I quit! I don't want to be an angel any more. I want to go home." Calla was quite pleased with this idea even though she understands that Georgia can't come back.
As day 63 approaches I have a few confessions. I no longer go to the cemetary every day. There are many reasons for this but mostly because I don't feel her presence there any more than anywhere else. I still go regularly however because I really do like it there. The other day Calla was walking amongst all of the grave markers asking me to read the names. Sigh... just like her mom I guess.
The anger that once threatened to consume me has dissipated for the most part. I am proud of this fact as I have worked very hard to let it go. I no longer run with my hands clenched in fists even though there is a part of me that hates running. The effect that is has on my psyche however is undeniable so I will keep doing it. I now have Mike's ipod as he got a new one for Father's Day (Ipod Touch). This makes running a little more enjoyable as I let the music motivate me when my mind no longer will. I am now running over two miles without pausing. I am hoping to be running more than three by the end of summer.
While I still laugh and play with my kids I am often in another place. My mind can just do that now. Calla says at least once a day, "Mommy, did you hear me?" To which I often reply in the negative. I can be in one place and have no clue what people are saying. I have actually forgotten whole conversations with people. And, while I don't take pride in this I have stopped apologizing to people. This is who I am now. Will I be like this forever? I don't know. I'd like to believe that I'll become a better listener but I offer no guarantees. I can only promise that I will continue putting one foot in front of the offer and learning from every lesson life has to offer me.
Thank you Carling and Tinsley who raised over 400 dollars at their birthday party for Families of SMA Canada. (edit: pictures now! The party was at Morden's chocolates, yum. - Mike) Love to you all,
Want to be inspired? Go check out www.gwendolynstrong.com and see what they have done. Today is June 21st, Father's Day, 2 months since Georgia's passing and Gwendolyn Strong is on her way to meet her 103 year old great grandfather. They have left in their RV that is covered with stickers promoting SMA awareness. Their story is being covered by several papers in the States.
Go check out love in action!
Before signing off I have a few thank yous tonight, three to be exact. Thanks Dad for teaching me how to be strong and not be afraid to love. Thanks for teaching me to have the courage to get back up even when life knocks you flat out.
Thank you Bob for raising the man that I chose to marry. Thank you for loving and playing with all 3 of your granddaughters with joy and enthusiasm. And, thank you for teaching me more about Canadian and American politics than any girl could ever imagine. : )
Thank you Mike, husband that I love and father to our 3 beautiful daughters. Thank you for working so hard to take care of us and make us laugh. Thank you for holding my hand, being my rock and at the same time my safe place to land. Thank you for the 3 most precious gifts that life has ever given me.