My Farewell

My Farewell

I remember the way you looked at me,

wondering if I knew what was about to happen.

Wondering if I would remember

the way you  looked or smelled.

Wondering if I would forget,

the way that you held on to everyone

you loved so tight with your cup-shaped hands.

Maybe you thought I’d forget,

the way you had your haircut,

that would show off that cute frown of yours.

Or forget the sound of your oxygen machine

as it would blow soft and slow,

into each of your nostrils.

Wondering if I would forget,

how your feeding tube

would always be on your face,

and how you would fight us over it,

with such distaste.

If only you could have known,

after you stayed up all night,

staring at me.

You gave me the sign I longed for,

that you were leaving me soon,

 to be with Jesus.

The moment came,

when you were in your Daddy’s arms.

Shane knew that

all you needed was for me,

to finally set you free.

To hold you one last time,

and give you one last kiss.

It was the next moment,

that I will never forget.

As I said my farewell,

held you so close to my chest

and cried in disbelief

  as you took your final breath.

R.I.P Rochelle Elaine Johnson

Keepsake memories

©2015 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

 

Happy 3rd birthday Lamar!!!

Happy 3rd birthday Lamar!!!

Wow, I can’t believe that we are here, at this day, 3 years later.   I still remember the specialist saying that “he will not survive birth, and their is a strong likelihood that he will pass in utero”.  At 9:57 A.M on July 14, 2012, they took Lamar out of me and showed him to me.  I remember everything so vividly.  I remember hurting so bad and at the same time feeling so full of love, and when I saw his hands curved inward and clenched and I knew in my heart that everything was true.  All of the appointments, and crying, and wanting to lean towards God but not knowing how, and wanting to ask for help or support but also not knowing how, just made for a very hard and trying pregnancy towards the end.

It’s crazy to think of what could be if he was here with us, and how our house would be so full with him and Rochelle, and of course Brielle. I know it would be so busy, full of lots of laughter, fishing, and so much LOVE.I thank God that Shane and I both have had the strength to stay together and grow with one another.  To think that most above 85% of marriages that involve the loss of child, end in divorce.  We couldn’t imagine life without our first born son, and can’t wait until the day we get to see him again.

This year we wanted to do something different and special. I thought cupcakes and a candle (the number 3) and 3 blue balloons that we will each write a note on and release in the sky.  It’s so amazing how much Brielle understands of the situation and she will continue to say that she has a brother and a sister in Heaven and that she loves them very much.  If only she knew how meaningful and powerful those words are to me.  It was so fun and I love that our family of three gets to celebrate our angel babies! 🙂

If each of us could say a few words to him right now this is what we would say:

Shane: I love and I miss you, I wish you here.

Brielle: I love you, give you a hug, and a high five.

Sheridan: I love you so much and I want to tell you that I’m sorry.

Grief is something that changes so often, that one day you may feel a certain way, and then the next day you may feel a completely different way about the loss of a loved one.  I feel like I wasn’t truly able to grieve with Lamar because of nursing school and getting pregnant with Brielle.  As I look back at my diaries, I was really in a dark hole that I just didn’t know how to get out of.  I am truly thankful for all of the support that our friends and family have given us, and continue to give us, that help us move forward everyday.

I will never forget those 23 weeks and 6 days, and we hope and pray that are prayers are getting answered, that he is having a blast with his sister Rochelle in Heaven.

R.I.P Lamar Grant Johnson 7-14-12 You will always be loved and cherished.

Our first ever sonogram.  His due date was 11-12-12 but then changed to november 7 (who would have thought God was telling us then that we would be blessed with Rochelle)
Our first ever sonogram. His due date was 11-12-12 but then changed to november 7 (who would have thought God was telling us then that we would be blessed with Rochelle)
Our precious baby boy.
Our precious baby boy.
the day we found out we were having our son!
the day we found out we were having our son!
his footprint.  I love this picture because my necklace is silver and it looks like such a pretty rose gold in this.
his footprint. I love this picture because my necklace is silver and it looks like such a pretty rose gold in this.
We love you so much Lamar Grant Johnson
We love you so much Lamar Grant Johnson
Can't believe you are 3!
Can’t believe you are 3!

6 months and Reality Sinking In

6 months and Reality Sinking In

I didn’t realize that I had to work on this day that we would have celebrated Rochelle turning 8 months old, until I also had a huge realization that I had to also work on the next day, the day that we are mourning her and realizing it has been 6 months since her passing.  I am not sure if I subconsciously just agreed to work all Mondays and Tuesdays this month in Austin not knowing that actual dates that I committed to, or that I just realized on July 1st that I am working so many days that I would rather be off and spend them with Shane and Brielle.  Crazy thing is, I am scheduled to work on July 14th as well, which is when Lamar would have turned 3!

Today, I was unable to sleep throughout the night and I woke up thinking and asking God “why am I still awake and I cannot sleep, knowing that in 2 hours at 5:30am I am going to have to get up and drive 40 mins to work a 12+ hour work day and drive over 1 1/2 hours home with Brielle tonight?”  It wasn’t until I heard Brielle at 5:00am calling me and saying “mommy, come in” which usually means she woke up and she wants to try to go back to sleep in bed with me.  I did not know why at the time but I know in her heart that she did indeed feel her sisters presence at this time, and God was trying to speak through both of us and just know that we needed to hug and cuddle and love on each other before I left for work.

Work was spent calling my patients doctors, scheduling appointments, going back and forth with my company about my patient needing to be fully staffed for the month, taking care of her all day, and running errands with the family. It was full and I thought it would keep me from feeling sad, or just letting reality sink in that I would trade anything just to be with Rochelle and Brielle at home and taking care of my girls, but my mind definitely wandered off to that place a few times when my mind was clear.

I know God placed Rochelle in our lives for a reason.  Shane and I may not fully understand, but we know that she brought us closer a family, she opened Shane’s eyes to sort of understand my life as a nurse and how much I handle on a daily basis when I work,  she brought us closer to my parents and gave us such a safe place at any moment Shane and I just needed a “mental break”, she showed us how much love we have to give and showed us to love both of our girls equally (and even though she was special needs and required much more of our attention) we made an effort on the daily to really have one on one quality time with Brielle, and she really showed us how many opportunities are out there and how many giving and kind-hearted people are willing to serve and love others.

People still continue to ask us if we are going to have more children, or if Shane is going to have the full genetic work-up. The thing is, we have no idea where God is going to lead us in our lives and who knows if we are going to pursue adoption, or try to have another of our own, only God knows that answer so for now we are devouring in the life we are given, and truly realizing how important it is to spend the time and energy with those that you love.

We love you SO much Rochelle, and will never forget all of those precious moments with you!

I always like to leave some of my favorite pictures of her with you all. 🙂

Sleeping peacefully.. at least for a little bit when she was not being held.
Sleeping peacefully.. at least for a little bit when she was not being held.
Just minutes after meeting her for the first time, I will never forget the way her fingers curled and grasped mine so tight
Just minutes after meeting her for the first time, I will never forget the way her fingers curled and grasped mine so tight

 

 

 

Always and forever our sweet girl!
Always and forever our sweet girl!
the last night I was ever able to hold her hand and she was awake all night listening to me talking
the last night I was ever able to hold her hand and she was awake all night listening to me talking
perfection--even when she had jaundice! :)
perfection–even when she had jaundice! 🙂

Four months.

Four months.

On the 6th of May Rochelle would have another huge celebration of turning 6 months old! I know we would have been going crazy celebrating and wishing for more time.  Instead, on the 7th of May (yesterday) we sadly realized it has been 4 precious months since Rochelle left to be with God.

This past month has been trying in some ways, and healing in others.  Some people said some really hurtful things about Rochelle (and her diagnosis) without really knowing the truth, and I just prayed for them to find comfort and healing in knowing how much love Rochelle was shown each and every moment of her life.  I have since received an apology and was asked to tell my version of Rochelle’s story which I gladly did.  I know some people may not understand what exactly Trisomy 13 is, or the fact that how in the world can this not come from Shane or myself, but just know that God wouldn’t have gifted us with her if he didn’t think we could handle it.  We loved every precious cry, her labored breathing, her sweet smell of breast milk/formula and how she hated to be moved and just wanted to be cuddled all day.  We will never forget it, and Shane and I are both very open to sharing her story.  You never know who exactly it could affect.

It has been healing in the sense that I am finally finding myself again.  I have told myself over and over again that I will get back on track with my diet/exercise I don’t know how many times, but I am happy to say, I have finally done it.  Now, of course I am not perfect and I enjoy that cheeseburger a little too much to get it go completely yet but I am making improvements and slowly but surely getting to be my old self again.  I found peace in knowing that it’s ok to feel like a door needs to be closed before another one can open.  I have a lot of hope knowing that great things are in our future, and I am going to cherish every moment of it.

Here is a little tidbit of my blog entry when I first found out we were pregnant with Rochelle “We just found out two days ago(3/10/14)! I am so in shock with this pregnancy and I am so blessed that God allowed us to get pregnant again and carry another baby.”  I truly thank God for blessing me with the ability to carry and nourish my baby to full term and provide her with my love and my care for as long as I possibly could.

Here is the first ultrasound we got of her

rochelle