So much to say

So much to tell you...where should I start????

Mother's Day - was perfect! Richard kept asking me what I wanted to do...my only request was to sleep uninterrupted until 8:30. Ahhhh, how nice! I can hardly remember when waking up at 8:30 was early!!! He got the girls up and dressed and when they knocked on my door they had Starbuck's and Bojangle's chicken biscuits in hand...yum! I'm a sucker for a chicken biscuit...especially the Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen. But since that particular outlet only exists as a single shack in Chapel Hill...Bojangle's is a close second on my list. The girls thought it was particularly fun to eat "bikits" in bed with mommy. We then went on an adventure to a local wildlife zoo that has rescued endangered animals like bobcats, a bald eagle, a black bear, some alligators, etc. The girls also thought this was pretty darn cool. Of course their favorite part was at the end when we came to the family picnic area with the playground. They "yiked suh-yiding on the suh-yides wiff the oder tuh-wil-der-wen" (sliding on the slides with the other children). The weather was beautiful, the girls were adorable as always, and Richard was incredibly wonderful...as always!

Fast forward a few days and we found ourselves loading the van to head up to NC to visit my dad and stepmom on their new farm. The property is beautiful, 28 acres of meadows, trees, and ponds. They've put extensive work into the fruit orchard and veggie garden and the house renovation was just incredible. The house is an old farm house that they restored and added on to. All the materials used, all of the colors, all of the spaces felt so good. It immediately felt like "home" eventhough the last house my dad lived in had been home for the last 15 years! The girls had so much fun. They got to feed the chickens every day and collect the eggs. They got to walk around the 100% organic veggie garden and pick veggies and eat them right then and there...no required washing off of pesticides...they loved the sugar peas, the arugula, there was even some asparagus from the previous landowner. We're looking forward to "fruit season" when the pears, apples, blueberries, grapes, and blackberries are all ripe and ready for eating...hopefully the birds and squirrels won't get to them before we have a chance.

The only drawback was Buddy...the rooster...and I say drawback simply as an endearing term because he really is a beautiful rooster. But I thought roosters crowed at sunrise...not at 4 a.m.!!!! And then again and again and again until the sun actually did rise. This of course woke the girls up and being in a new place with no room darkening draperies, they didn't really go back to sleep after waking up before 6 a.m.!!! This left mommy pretty sleepy. Thankfully there were a few willing hands on deck to take care of them in the morning so I could dose on the couch. These willing hands also allowed me to take a day trip to visit one of my friends in Virginia who has triplets a couple months older than the girls. We were supposed to meet up with two other triplet mommies but one threw her back out and the other wasn't feeling well...one day Jess...one day I WILL meet you in person! It was great to spend time with Kelly, it was just way, way too short! We'll have to plan some sort of retreat sometime so we can have time to really spend together. There is something about being with other moms who have gone through part or all of what you've been through...there is this camaraderie, this understanding that others just can't surmise. It's that "secret special preemie/triplet mommy bond" we all have I think.

My dad and stepmom hosted a big "farmwarming" party on Saturday as a thank you for all the construction workers, architect, friends, and family who were involved and supported their effort in obtaining and renovating the farm. They had a good old southern pig pickin' and an awesome live band that Avery and Lily LOVED!!! I wasn't sure what the girls would think of all the people and all the commotion, but they did great. There were two other little girls a bit older than them, but the four ran around all day long together. They visited the chickens, they danced, they ran through the garden, they waved at the cows, they went on a hay ride (courtesy of Guwampa and his tractor), and they found a special secret hiding place inside the branches of an enormous magnolia tree that had this old swing hanging inside. It really was a little girl's wonderland...I can just see them in a couple of years playing all kinds of princess and fairy games in there. It was such a wonderful trip, eventhough there was hardly a moment to just sit and enjoy the place.

On our last evening there we decided to sprinkle a bit of Zoe's ashes in a part of the garden that they've planted specifically as a Zoe memorial garden. There are some daisies and comfrey, a tree and a bench and surrounding it are fig trees, a persimmon tree, and a ju ju bee. So we dug a small hole, the girls picked a couple of daisies and laid them in the hole. I sprinkled a bit of Zoe and then we covered it up. No one said any profound words, it was simply a quiet, kind of peaceful offering. We want Zoe to be connected to the farm because it will be a part of our family for many many years to come. For me, knowing that she's there means something to me. So that I'm not "just talking to the air" when I sit on the bench. I can feel, in the future, like she's there right next me in a way that is a little more tangible.

Afterwards, Avery was going around to each of the little trees, patting them gently and telling them to "guh-wo well" (grow well). Lily was running all around so I started chasing after her. Richard and my sister were sitting on the bench about 30 feet away when Lily looked at me and said "Who's that yittle girl?" I said "what little girl, Lily?" She said "The little girl in Daddy's hands. Daddy has a yittle girl in his hands. Yet's go see her." My dad, my stepmom, my sister, and Richard all heard her and we all just sat breathless...she continued walking towards Richard insisting he had a little girl in his lap. When I started asking more questions she just ran off. A little later I asked her what color the little girl's hair was and she told me it was black and that the little girl was a baby. At bedtime Richard asked her more about the little girl and Lily said "It was Zoe Daddy" as if to say, "come on Dad, don't you know that?" Amazing! Absolutely amazing!

I was really missing our little angel...partly because we were there on the 16th of the month and also partly because of watching Avery and Lily thoroughly enjoying life...I mean really, really enjoying the air and the grass and the animals...every aspect of life, they were soaking it up and living and laughing. I just wanted Zoe there too...in the flesh, to be as thrilled as they were. Maybe their level of happiness was a smidge of what Zoe has in Heaven...but I sure wish she could have been with us in person...even if she did make an appearance in spirit.

The girls are so connected to Zoe...it is truly amazing to me how perceptive they are and how they pick up on certain "symbols" I've created as reminders of Zoe...like Snow White for example or a rose. Avery was trying to get something off the ground and she said to me "Mommy! A Zoe Rose, but I can't pick it up." I went over to where she was and saw a root of a nearby tree, sticking out of the ground in the perfect shape of a rose in full bloom. Avery saw this...perceived it to be a rose...connected that with Zoe and wanted to hold it! Do I really have two year olds or 12 year olds? I'm a little scared at how smart they are and how much smarter than me they're going to be in the future!!!

The last day we were there was "meat day." My dad raises cows on an all organic, grass fed diet. Two of these cows had recently been "processed" so Richard went with him and another friend to pick up all 600 pounds (I think) of beef from the "processor" (a much nicer title than slaughter house). They inventoried it and distributed it to be sent to folks who had pre-ordered. It was quite a production. My dad had to be inspected and licensed as a meat handler by the USDA and everything! By the way...if you are in need of organic, grass fed, free range, hormone and antibiotic free beef and you live between Atlanta and Chapel Hill we can probably hook you up with an order! They had a lot that was pre-sold but there is quite a bit left over to sell. We didn't have room in our van to take home our order so I'm looking forward to my dad's next trip down here so we can try our first "Windy Meadows Organic Beef".

All-in-all it's been an eventful couple of weeks. The girls had their two year check up yesterday. All is going well, they're growing, but they're underweight (Lily weighs 21 pounds and is 33" tall and Avery is 23.5 pounds and 35" tall) so we'll go to a nutritionist for a detailed evaluation. Lily has started to stutter a bit so we'll have a speech eval done and she's also due for a re-check on her hydronephrosis condition which will entail an outpatient catheterization procedure to be done at Scottish Rite...I really don't want to go back to that hospital with one of my children. I've been able to go there to visit another mom and one of her triplets...but to go there again with one of my own...I'm not quite sure how I'm going to handle that. I may have to call the urologist tomorrow and find out if there is any possible way to have it done at the other children's hospital. The more I think about walking into that place where I last held Zoe alive...I just don't know if I can do it. Maybe there's a way so we won't have to. I hope so.

On a note about Zoe's foundation...we're making some progress. The website is coming along. We hope to have new content up soon and I'd like to see it fully functional by the end of the summer. Our website designer is awesome, he's doing it completely for free and it's not his day job so I have to be patient. He's doing such a great job, is so diligent and dedicated to making it perfect and I really appreciate his work. We're also starting to plan for this year's Candle Lighting Remembrance ceremony to be held on October 17th. I'll post more details about that once our committee meets and we start to firm up the plans. We're hoping to increase attendance and make it more of an "event" this year with music and guest speakers. I'm excited about it, I think it will be a healing event for the parents who can attend and hopefully for all the parents with children represented it will be a time of knowing their child is remembered and acknowledged.

Phew...that was a lot. I really need to get back to weekly postings, I try to cram too much in at once when I post every couple of weeks. Anyway...I'll put up a slideshow soon...I owe you all pictures way back to my birthday and Easter!!!

1 comment:

Beth said...

What a lovely post! I felt like I was at the farm with you all & my 2-year-old, Adam! :o)

Glad you are all doing well!

All time favorite video of Zoe!

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Bible verses that comfort me

"Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:8

"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children....Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them"
~ Mark10:14 & 10:16

"...those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint"~ Isaiah40:31