3 6 5

1 YEAR, 12 MONTHS, 365 DAYS, 8760 HOURS, 525,600 MINUTES, 31,536,000 SECONDS

That’s how much time has passed since Rochelle has passed away.  It’s crazy to think that I have made it to this point in my life, and in my grieving process.

In the beginning of this journey, I went through some pretty tough times accepting what all truly happened.  I didn’t know how I could have grasped everything that occurred, in such a short amount of time.  It wasn’t until I sat down and typed everything up with what truly happened in the moments after her death, that I had to stop and think about how I was feeling.

I had a lot of anger that just harbored within, and at that time I got rid of some much stuff (I still regret giving everything away, some stuff I definitely could have kept)! I didn’t want to see anything that had Rochelle’s name written on it, and I wanted it gone. I was hurt, and in a lot of pain.  It took me time to actually go through all of her items, and keep only the special ones.  I could feel myself falling deeper into a hole around the three month mark.  I had very poor self esteem, and I just didn’t think anything good/positive.  I remember having to just pull it together for Brielle’s 2nd birthday party.  I tried so hard to be “in the moment” but I just couldn’t. I remember the guilt kicking in, around month seven, and I was hurting so much.

It wasn’t until month eight, that I could see myself turning my negative outlook around, and appreciating everything that God had given us.  I loved that I wrote my farewell letter to her through poetry. She was my inspiration to explore deeper and profound feelings for my love of writing.

Somehow, I got the sign I longed for, and that was for God to give me hope again.  To listen to myself and my heart, and do that I truly love to do.  I started peak an interest in photography, and I loved celebrating her first birthday, and being able to capture it. I loved knowing that she was celebrating with Jesus, among all  people, and her brother Lamar.  The only word that I could find to describe that feeling is pure magic.

I believe I am a place right now, that I would have never thought possible, just one short year ago.  I have many downs, but a lot of ups as well, and with God, family, and friends, we have somehow made it to this day, a year later, January 7th, 2016.  Please continue to pray for healing and growth with our family, and that we continue to share Rochelle’s journey, for a lifetime to come.

Here are some of my favorite pictures, ever.

 

R.I.P our sweet sweet Angel Rochelle Elaine Johnson

November 06, 2014- January 07, 2015.

©2016 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.

 

11 months later..Magic

11 months later..Magic

From the moment you entered this world,

with your blue-tinged fingers and toes,

God instilled life into you.

He gave you the strength to breathe,

to cry, and to know when you were hungry.

The ability to experience pain,

but also comfort and joy.

The courage to speak ,

through your bold dark eyes,

and your slow twitching head,

when you got so mad.

The ability to know love,

on such a deeper and powerful level.

Your body responded so well to touch,

and to voices that you recognized.

You also loved to be held all the time,

and cuddled up close to someones neck,

in the knee-chest position.

Through the many trials and tribulations,

you continued to defy all odds placed against you.

You created a new image for Trisomy 13 babies,

and you showed people to look deeper than your “label”.

You showed me how to take my label of a “nurse” off (at times),

and realized what a precious gift from God I had in my arms.

You were the rock,

when everything was falling apart,

and you somehow drew our family closer than ever before.

The day you left to go be with your brother,

was unlike no other.

I have seen patients pass away before,

but nothing like yours.

You were in my arms,

and I never wanted to let you go.

Yet, it was like pure magic.

Spirit drifted out of your body,

and I all of the sudden

got this overwhelming feeling

that you were gone.

That’s the moment,

your Daddy and I knew,

life would never be the same.

11 months have passed,

yet it still feels like it was yesterday.

We will miss you forever Rochelle Elaine Johnson. 11/6/15-1/7/15

r.johnson-8332

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

One more time

One more time

Have you ever just wanted to do something

one more time?

Take me back to the January 7,

to when I fought so hard to get my own chair,

as uncomfortable as it was, just hold her.

Take me back to the colors of the room,

or the pictures on the walls.

To the sounds all of the nurses, doctors, therapists,

and all of the medical personnel always around.

To the noises from my mom and Shane.

I would want to hear the vital signs monitors again,

even as loud and annoying as they can be.

I would want to study her telemetry,

 and see what rhythm she was in.

I want to study her oxygen levels,

her nasal cannula, and the dressings on her face.

I want to look at her NG tube again,

and notice the true beauty in that tiny tube.

I would want to study every little thing about her,

talk to her until she falls asleep, hear her cries,

change her diaper, and dress her one more time.

I want to open the windows, and see the outside,

because on that day, I had never noticed the weather.

I didn’t get to see the vibrant sun outside,

until it was time to say good-bye to her and walk away,

through those black, sliding entrance doors.

It was beaming so bright,  yet I felt so cold and hollow inside.

If there was one day last year, that I could re-live,

it would be the day I had to say good-bye

to my two month old baby girl.

If I could have told her one last thing,it would be,

that I hope she knows how much she was loved.

I would tell her that mommy and daddy would trade spots,

in a heartbeat, just to give her a full, long, vibrant life.

I would tell her that she has, hands down,

the best biggest sister ever.

I would tell her, in my final words,

that God will take care of her, better than I ever could.

If I could choose any day in the last 12 months,

It would be to spend one more day with Rochelle.

10 months since..

10 months since..

This month I believe the word to describe how I am feeling now is clarity. I now have more clarity than ever before, more understanding of what’s to come, and just more desire to just really help others and listen to others.  I feel like if I can help one person and/or family by sharing my story, my precious angels, and what all I have been through, it just may make things a little easier, or at least give them hope when they feel like there is none left.

Yesterday as I was driving home from celebrating Rochelle’s first birthday, I looked up and noticed the sun was setting, and this has become one of my favorite things to look at and admire this past month. I actually notice now all of the different shades of greys, blues, pinks and whites in the clouds and the shapes and textures,  that just seem more bold than ever before.  I notice the crispness in the trees, and  all the different hues of green, orange, and and brown. Photography has definitely helped me describe my feelings through the beautiful pictures, and I love it.

My mom came up with an idea on what we should do to carry on her name, and to really help other babies that have been in her similar situation. It just makes you realize that even the most simple thing can seem to make the biggest difference to someone, especially those who have been in our shoes. I am SO excited to share what we have planned, as soon as is comes to pass. Please pray that our thoughts/ideas come true and that our hands can help just one baby in the NICU, who is right where we started, with their parents sitting and praying for hope, recovery, and healing.

I must never forget that God’s working miracles in our lives everyday and even though we cannot see them or protect them from happening,  I really want to make sure my heart and mind remain open at all times for anything good, or bad. I can’t believe just yesterday we were all together as a family celebrating, just as we would if she were here with us. In her honor, I will share some of my favorite pictures from our beautiful day.

Brielle writing in her sisters birthday card.
Brielle writing in her sisters birthday card.
SUCH a beautiful photo that could never be planned or re-created.
SUCH a beautiful photo that could never be planned or re-created.
Helping mommy with her cake!
Helping mommy with her cake!
Rochelle is 1!
Rochelle is 1!
Cake!
Cake!
Beautiful still photo of Brielle and her cousins.
Beautiful still photo of Brielle and her cousins.
My beautiful prayer before my balloon release
My beautiful prayer before my balloon release
Stunning.  Hope you love them Rochelle!
Stunning. Hope you love them Rochelle! #pinkforRochelle