Mitchell's 5th Birthday

Mitchell's 5th Birthday

Mitchell's 4th Birthday

Mitchell's 4th Birthday
February 2011
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Nov 2010

Mitchell's 3rd Birthday

Mitchell's 3rd Birthday
Feb 2010

Friday, September 4, 2015

Angel Day, Year 3

We celebrated Mitchell's Day (Angel Day) this year with joy and gladness.  I think Mitchell's Day is one of my favorite days of the year now.  We can truly feel the prayers of comfort from many and the resulting peace and joy are such gifts.  We appreciate you all!

This year we read a list of ideas to the kids and of course the winning service project was to volunteer at the local humane shelter.  We were oriented with the facilities and procedures and although we were expecting to clean cages and pick up poo, it was towards the end of day, so we had the privilege of playing with the dogs.  The children loved it, and I won't lie, it was therapy for me as well.  I know Mitchell would have really enjoyed loving on those pups, too.

A month ago we had a terrible experience with Allegiant Air flying to our nephew's wedding in CA.  On those flights we met a very kind man named Monty, who owns Hubby's Pizza here in Tri-Cities.  He generously wrote us a coupon for a free pizza and pitcher of pop, which we cashed in on Mitchell's Day.  The pizza was HUGE, and delicious--a perfect treat for Mitchell's Day.

We love to drop off treats anonymously--one of our favorite family traditions--so we did some of that too.  Finally, we finished the day watching videos of our little jokester, shed some tears, cuddled, and went to bed feeling grateful for what we have been given in life.  There is so much tragedy in this world, but one thing is certain--the family is the most beautiful and sacred gift in this world when we cherish, nourish, and do our best to build it up.  I am so honored to be the mother of this little family, even through all of the yucky days and challenges.  It is a blessing to be a mother and I do not take it for granted; in large part, thanks to Mitchell.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


How can anyone describe losing a child?

Everytime I pack away clothes too small for my oldest son, I think about how they would have gone to Mitchell next.

Everytime I see my son with a boy Mitchell's age, my heart aches for not only my loss, but the loss experienced by my son.  He will never get to have a little brother to hang out with.

Everytime we pile in the van for a drive somewhere, I have the momentary worry that we've forgotten one of our children.  I can imagine him sitting back there with his brother and sister teasing, fighting, and laughing.

Every February my heart feels anxious.  It's his month.  Grief kicks into high gear and I find myself feeling nervous, sad, tired, and reminiscent.  My body literally aches to be with him again.

This February would have been his eighth birthday.  What I wouldn't give to have an eight year old in the house!  What I wouldn't give to watch two of my sons playing basketball games every Saturday.  What I wouldn't give to set up bunk beds in our new home for my boys and listen to them talk late into the night.  What I wouldn't give to hear of two boys' adventures every day when they come home from school.  What I wouldn't give...

But as much as I'd like to give, I cannot.  It is done.  He's gone.  Another birthday without him here to celebrate, but one year closer to being with him again.

Happy Birthday Mitchie.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Mother's Grief, A Heart's Memory

An article I wrote about grief was published via a Seattle parenting magazine, Parentmap.  I felt it was important to communicate some of the feelings I have as a parent who is grieving the loss of a child.  I also hope I voiced the sentiments of other parents enduring this struggle, as many of us share these similar emotions with grief (although each experience is unique).  The article should not make anyone feel guilty or burdened, but rather show ways big and small one can show love and support to families facing grief.  It is something that no one can fully understand unless they go through it themselves and I think in particular, the loss of a child carries a unique pain.  I know I am a changed person as a result.  I like some of the changes, and miss some of my old self too.  It's confusing, but we're getting through it, yet will never be over it.

Thank you all for your continued love and support.  I know that from the surface we look like all is smooth sailing, but under the water we are treading for our dear lives.  Life is unforgiving and never slows down to a speed we're more comfortable with and I guess that may be good.  We are meant to work hard, but every now and again the full weight of grief bears down upon us and knocks us down again.  We miss him so, so much.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

One Year

In one week (Sept. 2) a year will have passed since we last held our baby boy.  One of the lessons we've learned from going through this experience is that the hardest part isn't losing our child.  The hardest part is continuing forward, LIVING without him.  It is both a blessing and a pain that life keeps moving forward.  I don't know what I expected, but not exactly what we're living.  This year I've realized my body DOES have limits, which have been met and maxed.  I've learned what intense pain and grief feels like, which I hope will allow me to be there for others going through challenges.  I've learned children are beautifully resilient and faithful.  I've learned that I really have a long way to go to be the kind of person I know I can be, but also more about how to get there.  My only regret in all of this is that it
took a very, VERY special little spirit to come down and endure tremendous pain and struggle in order for me to get to this point. I will forever be grateful and sorry that my Mitchell went through all that.  I hope and pray he is achieving great success in Heaven, knowing that we're working each day to return to live with him again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Happy 6th Birthday Angel Boy

I'm not giving up on this blog.  Just been a bit busy with a newborn!  Mitchell's namesake, Clayton Mitchell was born Jan. 17th.  He's beautiful just like his older brother.

Today is our special boy's birthday.  We're going through pictures, reminiscing and missing him so painfully much; grateful for the time we've had with him and looking forward to reuniting with him again.  Happy Birthday little buddy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Life Goes On

It's not that I want to quit Mitchell's blog, or that I just don't care.  It's not even that it's too hard, at least not to my conscious mind.  Perhaps subconsciously I don't want to "deal" with any of these emotions so I avoid them instead.  I don't know.  I do want to keep remembering and maybe this is a good way to do that.

Our friend, Keith, passed away within one hour of Mitchell.  He was an almost five-year-old sweet boy battling medulloblastoma.  His mother, Darcee, and I have corresponded for almost two years.  She definitely understands how I feel.  I hope she doesn't mind me linking her blog, but if you're interested in reading my thoughts, hers are almost identical.

We are doing okay; that's the only word that can capture the essence of our feelings.  I am mostly grateful for the beautiful life we live; we have the gospel of Jesus Christ, each other, necessities of life, and our health.  I am so grateful for my husband and other children--they mean everything to me.  Gratitude fills the emptiness in my heart and allows me to continue forward being happy.  That being said, there are minutes, hours, and days that come where I feel really sad.  None of this seems possible or real.  How can he be gone?  Why did he have to suffer so much?  Although I remember many good, beautiful memories, I am also haunted by recollections of his frail brave body, pushing forward day after day.  That breaks my heart and always brings tears.  Sometimes I just have to sob and feel it all as much as I try to avoid it.  It's hard...there's no way to change that.

I've dreaded certain days coming, but have been amazed that on those days I don't feel sad at all.  Obviously it is a blessing and I am grateful.  I admit that the holiday season itself has been a challenge.  Nothing in particular sets me off, but there's just a feeling of sadness.  I am, however, very proud of myself because I did put up Christmas decorations even though I had about zero desire to do it.  I am excited to celebrate with my children and this Christmas we have some service planned that I hope will make things brighter.

We continue to appreciate all of the love and support we receive from our family and friends.  Whether a text to let us know you're thinking of us, or a treat left on our door step, it all means so much.  I was talking to my cousin the other day and she said her friend who lost a child mentioned how those acts acknowledged to her that others still remembered her child.  I think an underlying fear for us parents who lose children is that everybody's life moves forward and there's a desperate feeling to keep your child's "life" going.  It's just so hard to do because the truth is, the world DOES keep moving forward even though our lives are stopped/slowed.  It hurts, but it's just the way it is.  That's why it feels so great to read of other's service in Mitchell's behalf.  Even though he can't be here any longer, it is nice to see his memory moving forward along with everyone else.

We pray you all have a safe and happy holiday season.  Cherish your time with your loved ones and focus on those things that matter most: the Savior, family, and caring for those who need.

Monday, September 17, 2012

In Memoriam of our Angel

This is the slideshow Chad made for Mitchell's funeral.  It's so beautiful--I had to share.  Chad put a handful of the recurring quotes Mitchell always said.