Monday, October 12, 2009

My beamish boys, and other courses on my mental buffet

My talented friend Snarky Belle does a post sometimes containing her thoughts on various topics, buffet-style.  I'm going to copy you, today, Natalie. :) My rambling mind is all over the place lately, and here are some of the places it lingers. . . .


"Come to my arms, my beamish boy[s]!"  (they love it when I say that - I ALWAYS get a hug :)


Fluffy was alarming me lately with his habit of playing with his very nice CTR ring from Nana and Grandpa. I suggested that he substitute it for a new habit of pushing on his upper toothless gap as per instructions from the dentist. So now if you hear him gasp, and then look over to see him with his finger in his mouth, you know why! :)

Exacto suggested we start doing what Pres. Monson talked about - "And what have YOU done for someone today?" He has remembered to prompt us almost every night at the dinner table since! Amazing how much this has inspired me to do nice things I might not have otherwise done.

The other boys have been inspired, too! I went to pick the younger two as they started to walk home from school, and Fluffy was carrying Hummer's backpack. Later that night, he reported it as something he had done for someone today. :)

Yesterday Hummer said he was a "kissing machine" - "Whenever you make your skin touch me I will kiss it!" Let's just hope he keeps this game at home. . . .

*REAL TIME ACTION -- He just came downstairs (he's supposed to be in bed) and said sweetly, "I have a surprise for you, Mommy." He was wearing my fluffy purple slippers. He walked over and one by one, slipped them off and put them by my feet. He had warmed them up for me! :) *


Inspiration from Nie

I know this is all over blogland, but can I just say that Stephanie Nielson continues to inspire me greatly! I missed her recent appearance on Oprah (having no digital tv - I totally live in a bubble), but I read the article about it here.

This excerpt from it blew me away. . . .

Stephanie says she had a vision while she was unconscious, and she was given a choice. "[I was] with somebody who told me that I could choose to live and have a hard life, you know, embarrassing at times and painful. Or, I could just stay there, and there's lots of work I could do there too," she says. "But I thought of my children and my husband, and it was easy. An easy choice."

Wow. I have to admit, if I had the choice of whether to move on, or stay here, I would be sorely tempted to leave this fallen world. But I have the opportunity to be here with my beloved husband and children and WITHOUT the constant pain the she now faces!

Of course, she was like that before the accident, anyway. Her posts in the pre-burned days are filled with celebration of the simple moments with her children, of a beautifully deep love for her Mr. Nielson. Awesome.

NieNie, you have helped me to see what a gift each hour with my family is. Saturday night when I washed Hummer's hair in the tub, I thought of your gloved, pain-filled hands washing your babies' hair, and was filled with gratitude again for what you are teaching me.



How the scrapbook is going. . . .

015 (2)Last week I did only 3 pages. It is really hard work for me! I am not a natural scrapbooker, and delving deeply back into these memories is not easy. A couple of days I simply was not up to it.

Today I dove back in, though. I knew I had all day with no interruptions, so if I had to cry for a while, it would be okay. The scrapbook will be to share with anyone who would like to see it. (I hope people will ask to see it! :) But as I'm working, if I have a more personal, difficult memory resurface, I am taking the opportunity to write it all out in a different place, and let the grief overtake me again for a while.

I really think that this type of work is going to help me go into these last few weeks with more serenity and at the same time, remembrance.

<Here's the place where I scrapbook.

We bought this changing table a couple of months before Benjamin was born. I had never had one with any of my other babies, and I just thought I had to have it this time. :) I wish so much I had taken a picture of it with all his clothes on it! Janice and I had created a lovely, little organized spot where I anticipated spending many hours tickling and talking to him as I dressed him and cleaned him. After he died, and I put away the clothes, I realized that would be the perfect spot to put all the scrapbooking supplies for his special book.

I never cared for him physically there, but I have spent hours thinking about him and remembering him, even talking to him. It is a sacred spot to me.

(The 'C' and glow-in-the-dark stars on the wall came later on, when one of his big brothers moved into the room. . . .:)


Halloween and its ramifications

October 31, 2007 was the last day I felt Benjamin move. I believe I even know the exact moment he died. At the time, though, I was completely unaware. Janice and I spent the day decorating the house for a family Halloween party. I helped with two class parties at school. The boys dressed up and we did trick-or-treating from door-to-door in our house. Then we stayed up late watching Ichabod Crane with candles going.

The next day when I came home from the doctor's office, knowing that my baby was dead inside me, most of the Halloween decorations were still up. There were candy apples in the fridge and silly little Halloween snacks everywhere. It is probably not surprising to you that from that time on, I have hated Halloween. A lot.

I have thought that this is not really a big loss--what is the big deal about a holiday that celebrates the macabre and gruesome? But I have started to feel bad lately that the boys sometimes feel a little left out at school. Well, Exacto doesn't seem to care too much. He feels a lot how I do.

But Fluffy and now Hummer seem to wish that I were a little more happy about Halloween. I don't think I ever can be. BUT I did get a good idea today! We can celebrate Autumn. I got the idea from an activity in this month's Friend magazine where it shows a family carving a pumpkin with a CTR shield instead of the traditional face.

I can see that it would be much better to make new family traditions to fill this space, rather than just resentfully waiting for it to go away! We do plan to start a yearly pilgrimage to see fall colors on 10/31 or thereabouts. We did that last year on 11/1, and it was so fun.

Will you share with me any ideas you have? Does your family have any traditions specific to the fall season that you love?



llamitanan said...[Reply to comment]

What a delightful post! I love the buffet-style posting. Actually, I like all your types of posts. One thing we like to do in celebration of fall is go to the local corn maze. We did it last night with Beckers & Seth and had such a fun time--even earned candy bars and a lollipop. :) Way to go in following Pres. Monson's advice! Your sons are GIAT GTEM'ers!

llamitanan said...[Reply to comment]
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Vauna said...[Reply to comment]

I think celebrating Autumn is a WONDERFUL idea. And a great way to get get into an early Thanksgiving spirit. How about a Family Autumn Service Project every October? I've always found the best way to deal with my own grief is to find someone who needs me to serve them.

snbjork said...[Reply to comment]

Hi Michelle, I love reading your blog. My favorite!!! I will send you an email with a couple of questions. Hope you're having a wonderful day!

GumbyandPokey said...[Reply to comment]

We do an annual drive--tomorrow's the day for us--and we also like to go to the cider mill/pumpkin farm for corn maze and other activities. I love fall. Don't like Halloween too much.