Saturday, October 9, 2010

October Challenge

October Challenge

This month, several mamas who are a part of this "club" are doing a 30 day blog challenge - answering one question each day that is somehow related to their loss. I've decided to join in, even though I'm about 8 days late! Here are my first 8 days....
PS: Sorry for the insanely long post. :)

Day 1 - A song that reminds you of your child, or one that you can't listen to anymore, and why?

There are lots of these songs. There aren't really any that I can't listen to anymore, but there are quite a few that make me really sad when I hear them. Sometimes it's sad in a good way. I've got an itunes playlist that I listen to when I want to feel close to her. Usually, I end up crying at some point so I don't listen to it on my ipod at the gym or when I'm with anyone. When Kurt was still working overnight shifts, I used to listen to it all the time. I think it really helped me through the grieving process (not that I'm done with it by any means), because the lyrics forced me to think about feelings that I was feeling... but not letting myself think about. I don't even know if that makes sense.
Here's the list...

What Faith Can Do, Kutless
Bring The Rain, MercyMe
Can Anybody Hear Me, Meredith Andrews
Held, Natalie Grant

In Better Hands, Natalie Grant
Safe, Phil Wickham,
I Will Carry You, Selah
Heaven is the Face, Steven Curtis Chapman

Beauty Will Rise, Steven Curtis Chapman
One More Day, Rocket Club

Glory Baby, Watermark
Homesick, Mercy Me
Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Faith Hill

The italicized ones are my favorite. The last 3 are the ones we played at Olivia's memorial service. Faith Hill's version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was the perfect song for the slideshow of Olivia's pictures from the hospital... but I sometimes regret choosing it. There are about 50 bajillion different versions of that song, so it's played ALL the time. The Piano guy at Von Maur was even playing it when I went shopping for my rehearsal dinner dress.
So I guess if I had to pick ONE song that is really hard for me to listen to without breaking down, that would be it.

Day 2 - a movie that helped you get through the hard times, or one that jumps out at you after your loss.

There really isn't one movie. But, since she died right before Thanksgiving, Christmas movies started playing on TV constantly on the day of her funeral (the day after Thanksgiving). I watched hours upon hours of made for TV Christmas movies. I never wanted to be alone in the quiet, and when Kurt would sleep during the afternoon to prepare for working overnight, I always kept the TV tuned to Lifetime or some other channel that required no brain activity to watch. I've always loved Christmas movies and can watch the same ones over and over again, so it was very comforting to me.
hopefully when they're on this year, it won't stir up the emotions that I was feeling last year during the Christmas season.

Day 3 - a television program that helped you either get through hard times or that moves you.

Don't really have one of these, I guess. Hpwever, we did do a LOT of TV watching after Livie died and we didn't really feel like going anywhere or doing anything with anyone. But I don't think there was one specific show. Anything that made us laugh was good... Modern Family? Glee?

Day 4 - your favorite book. Has it changed since your loss?
Ohh my favorite book! This is a tough one.... because reading is one of my top 5 favorite things, and I've never really been able to narrow down a favorite.
I guess the answer to this question is that my ALL time favorite book - To Kill A Mockingbird - is still my favorite. I even tried to suggest using the name Harper for either a girl OR a boy when we were picking out baby names... Kurt didn't like that idea though.
I have some new favorites though... brought on by all of this.  By Christmas break last year, I had already spent weeks on the couch "recovering" and was sick of watching TV and not using my brain, so I finally decided to start reading again. For a while there I didn't even want to lift my arms up off the couch high enough to hold a book. My favorite one that I read during that time was "The Help". It's awesome, if you haven't read it... I totally recommend it. I posted about it back in February, Here

Another favorite, maybe one of my VERY favorite books ever, is I Will Carry You, by Angie Smith. I read on her blog just after Livie died that her book was available for pre-order. I ordered it right away, and was SO excited when it finally arrived in May. It was probably the most helpful book that I read. She articulates her feelings so well and doesn't sugarcoat anything. I could identify with almost every single word she wrote. It's very Christian focused so if that's not your thing, it's probably not the book for you... but if it is, TOTALLY pick it up.

Day 5 - your favorite quote.
I am planning a post of the best quotes and pieces of advice that have helped me throughout the past almost-year, but here are just a couple of my VERY favorites. And yes, some of them are bible verses.

We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Romans 5:3-5

I will carry you

While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
...All your life
And I will praise the One whose chosen Me
To carry you
-- Angie Smith (From the Selah song, I Will Cary You)

"A Butterfly lies beside us
like a sunbeam
and for a brief moment,
its beauty and glory
belong to our world.
But then it flies on again.
And though we wish it could have stayed
we feel so lucky to have seen it."
--author unknown....

"And can it be that in a world so full and busy, the loss of one weak creature makes a void in any heart, so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of vast eternity can fill it up." - Charles Dickens

Day 6 - twenty things that calm you?
Spending quiet nights at home
Starbucks (just iced coffee in general)
Reading (real reading, not reading for school - big difference!)
Reading with a glass of wine!
Painting... pretty much just anything that allows me to be creative
napping under a warm blanket on the couch in the afternoon
reading interior decorating blogs and scrapbooking blogs
snow! (as long as i'm not driving in it!)
Listening to good music
Everything about fall
long talks on the phone with some of my greatest girlfriends.
Old movies - anything with Audrey Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart or Cary Grant
An afternoon with no homework, and nothing to do but any of the above activities
my two new little puppies... (when they're sleepy and snuggly, not running and rambunctious). and Buddy. And my parents' dog Lucy, of course :)
Spending time with family.

Day 7 - a picture that makes you happy
I had to pick more than one.
The first one makes me happy for obvious reasons. She's gorgeous.
The second one makes me happy just because I know we were so happy right at that moment, and it shows. I loved that uniform!
The third one... just makes me happy. It's a pink elephant that matched Olivia's nursery. When we got home from the hospital, Kurt put the little hat thing (no idea what they're really called) that they made him wear during my c-section on it. I never took it off!

Day 8 - A picture that makes you sad
Again, I couldn't pick just one. Looking at pictures of Kurt with Livie gets me every time. I also hate the way she looks in this picture. It is so upsetting to me that her face is so purple. Her color started changing SO fast after we removed her life support.
My Grandma 'Nore was so excited for her. Obviously, we all were, but she was going to be Grandma's first great grandchild and she loved her so much. The last one is us at her memorial service.

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Lara + Chris said...

I love that you did this. It had to be so therapeutic. And you're right. She IS gorgeous. I think my favorite part of her is that tiny delicate nose.

butterflymom said...

Glad that you were able to join the 30-day blog challenge. Thank you for sharing your pictures. Olivia is beautiful. And always will be. ((hugs))

The McNeil Family said...

I love that you are doing this. Wonder if I should start it too? Of course, that would mean I would have to remember to keep going for 30 days. Hmmm... LOL!

All of the pictures are beautiful, Bets! Olivia is SO, SO beautiful. Thank you for sharing them.

Much love, Mere

Jessica Hanson said...

I love that you're remembering Olivia like this! My biggest fear with losing our baby girl, is that people will forget she existed. This is a great way to cherish her. I can't wait to read more!

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