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.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Some Days

For Melanie,

The snow has been melting slowly but surely around here. Our roads are lakes during the day and skating rinks at night and the early mornings. For many, this time of year is filled with hope of sunny days, warmer weather and new life. In our house we share all of these feelings but springtime is now clouded by dark memories. It was this week a year ago that the doctors first ordered genetic testing suspecting that there was something serious going on with Georgia. Next week will mark her going into the hospital and our lives changing forever. As we approach these anniversaries the roller coaster of emotions takes on even more ups and downs. Throw in some pregnancy hormones and life can get really interesting.

Some days I can jump out of bed with a smile on my face and a feeling of optimism as I think about the day ahead. Some days I can barely crawl into the shower.
Some days I can hop off the treadmill feeling like I can conquer the world, and some days I stagger off feeling more physically and emotionally exhausted than before.
Some days I can feel really good about all that we have done in Georgia's name especially because we are still in the early stages of grieving. Other days all I can feel is guilt that we should be doing more and that we have failed.
Some days I could tell hundreds of people's Georgia's story and talk about SMA until the sun went down. Other days, I just want to pretend that SMA doesn't exist.
Some days I can tackle a list of house chores without looking back and other days a load of laundry seems like a mountain to climb.
Some days I can spend most of the time smiling and laughing. Other days the tears just don't seem to stop.
Some days I can pat myself on the back telling myself that Calla and Maya are doing great. Other days I can't stop worrying about how I have screwed them up.
Some days I can look forward to future plans especially meeting this new baby and other days I can't think beyond the next few minutes.
Some days I can run a dozen errands and other days I start driving and have to remind myself where I'm going.
Some days I can find peace.

So, I forget things sometimes. So, my house isn't always tidy. So, I don't always run on the treadmill. So, I cry a lot. So, I don't always return a phone call immediately. So, I don't always know what to say. So, I like to wear my pjs under my winter gear to walk Calla to school. : ) I do know however that every day I love Georgia and do my best to keep her memory alive. I get up everyday and force myself to keep going even when I don't feel like it. We're not crazy Melanie. We are approaching the anniversary of our daughters' death and we are surviving. Some days we're doing even more than that! Some days I convince myself that that is enough...

Love to you all,

Kristen

4 comments:

  1. I just have to tell you I think you are amazing! I can only imagine the pain on the 'bad' days/moments that come but I think overall you are just incredible. I think you have done so much in Georgia's name, especially like you said with it being so early in losing her. I am constantly inspired by all you do, the fact that you still think of others and what you can do to help them and the way you teach Calla and Maya about love, life and family.

    You should be so, so proud of yourself. I know as a mom we always wonder if we 'could do more, be more, etc' but try to push those thoughts away when they come. With all you have gone through, still raising two other girls during your grief (and doing a fantastic job I might add!) and you can still pull together to put on the fundraiser, raise money and spread the word about SMA?! It is truly amazing. I have no doubt that Georgia is smiling down knowing where she got her fighting spirit from!!

    I am so glad that you have days you are getting up in the morning smiling, that you can laugh and enjoy your day and be exciting about the arrival of your newest little one. I know the days where the pain is overwhelming will come, they always will, but I hope the frequency and severity of them continues to lessen. Georgia will always be such an important part of your family, and she absolutely knows that and can feel your love.

    I still think of Georgia each and every day, and you and your strength to be the amazing Mom, wife and woman that you are. Thanks for being you, being in my life and showing all of us that we as individuals can make a difference!
    Hugs, Em

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  2. Dear Kristen,

    I am crying and smiling all at the same time! I am honoured that you thought of me while writing this beautiful journal. I want to scream "yes someone gets it"!! But then I stop and realize that for you to get it means you too have lost your daughter.

    It is like you said, some days you feel so full of pride and gratitude and energy and some days a shower is a task. Just the other day I did'nt even have the energy or the heart to get out of the shower so I just stayed there for another thirty minutes. I caught myself doing a read-aloud to my grade ones the other day and I was using expression and I genuinely sounded excited. It shocked me and I lost my spot on the page. My excitement then went to poignant memories of reading to Emersyn which we did several times a day because she loved it.It took everything for me not to break down in the middle of my lesson.

    I will also admit that Jay and I feel like we are no longer considered as parents any more because Emersyn was our first and only. If they only knew that parenting from the beyond is a 24-7 job because it requires the energy and blind faith that our children are 'ok'.

    When I am in the grocery store alone I look around at the families doing their shopping and I feel a gigantic hole where my Emersyn's car seat used to sit in my grocery cart. People don't mean to say things like "hey you guys should get away on the March break to a resort for couples with no kids". I know they mean well but parenthood is a one way ticket and we are very much parents, that role has never changed.

    If I am being honest and as hard as this is for me to say,we also ache for a second child but we are so torn up about it at the same time. Gone are the days of peeing on the stick and just feeling sheer joy! I feel I am already in anticipatory grief for what might be if we are faced with tough decisions should another pregnancy happen.

    I know my reply was all over the place but so many emotions arose that I wanted to share after reading your post. Thank-you for the priceless gift of your journal and for sharing your grief.

    "I can release the pain that touches my memories, but only if I remember them. I can release my grief, but only if I expresss it. Memories and grief must have a heart to hold them".

    From my mothers heart to yours Kristen,
    Thank-you,
    Much love
    Melanie xoxoxoxo

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  3. Sounds like you are exactly in the right place you should be. Be gentle with yourself. Don't put any timelines on where you should be at.

    Hugs,
    Lisa
    (mom_of_4)

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  4. I came across this poem today and thought of you...


    The world may never notice
    If a Snowdrop doesn't bloom,
    Or even pause to wonder
    If the petals fall too soon.
    But every life that ever forms,
    Or ever comes to be,
    Touches the world in some small way
    For all eternity.

    The little one we long for
    Was swiftly here and gone.
    But the love that was then planted
    Is a light that still shines on.
    And though our arms are empty,
    Our hearts know what to do.
    Every beating of our hearts
    Says that we will always love you.


    Thinking of you often,
    Stacey Grabowski

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