Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Catch Up

I haven't been very faithful to writing on this blog here lately.  Our life has been extremely busy with school, hairbow making, craft shows, church, and life in general.  As I put the dots on the "Number of the Day" chart at school today, I could hardly believe that we have been in school for 62 days already!  This school year is definitely going by quickly, which makes me a little sad because I have been blessed with a great group of students this year!  They are so excited to learn and so well-behaved.  They are such a blessing to me everyday.

Pumpkin for Ezra
Halloween has already come and gone for another year.  We didn't do anything exciting, but we did hand out candy this year at our house.  Last year, we went out to eat because we couldn't face seeing the kids dressed up, but this year we wanted to return to some sort of normalcy.  We had a ton of trick-or-treaters and almost ran out of candy.  It was a fun night.  We decided not to carve a pumpkin this year because we had so much going on, but I did paint two, one for Ezra and one for Cassidy.  We were going to take it to the cemetery to put beside his flowers, but we decided to leave it at our house instead.  That way, it was like we were celebrating him at home for Halloween.  I still dream about what his Halloween costumes would look like each year.  There are a ton of family outfits on pinterest and I visualized our faces on their bodies multiple times while I was browsing.

The best part of the week of Halloween was that we got our first snow day.  That's right, in October.  People may call it the effects of Hurricane Sandy or a nor'easter storm, but I call it Ezra's Halloween present to Mommy and Daddy.  He knows how much we love Halloween and snow, so he wanted to combine the two of them together for us.  :)  At least, that's what I thought.

First Ornament
Randall and I have decided to go ahead and put up our normal amount of Christmas decorations, which means getting started early.  Last year, we only put up the one big tree in our living room, but this year we plan to do all of them.  I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do until Friday night.  We put up our first tree, the Disney tree that night.  We putt the tree up first and then brought up the ornaments.  Many of the ornaments for that tree do not have boxes, so we just wrap them up in heavy paper towels and put them into plastic containers.  I unwrapped the first ornament and had to smile.  Simba was looking up at me.  I feel that it was no coincidence that the Lion King ornament was the first one that I unwrapped.  It was almost as if Ezra was saying, "Mom, go ahead and decorate.  I can't wait to see  it." 

I still miss my sweet Ezra like crazy and each day brings a new set of sadness and challenges, but I am making it through one day at a time.  I know that God has placed so many people in my life to help me through my grief stages and I am so grateful for them.  It seems that no matter how I feel, there is someone there with a hug or just a listening ear.  I feel so blessed to have so many wonderful friends and confidants.  And what also helps me get through each day is knowing that my baby is watching me, cheering me on, and seeing how I handle various situations.  I've always heard that you have to be careful what you do and say in front of children because they pay attention to everything.  But the people who said this truly dont' understand, because I'M the one with the son who truly can see and hear what I'm doing and saying all the time.  So I try to live my life so that he will be proud of me and so that he can say, "Look, Jesus, that's my mom.  She makes me proud."

I miss you sweet Ezra, and love you like crazy.  I can't wait to finish the Christmas decorations so that you can see all of them.  Mommy loves you, Ezra.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ezra!

Balloons sent to Ezra's party from Cassidy UMC
I had all intentions of writing a post on Ezra's birthday.  We didn't have plans, I didn't have anything that I had to do for school, and we ordered pizza.  You would think that it would have been no problem for me to write.  Until the pictures started pouring in on facebook, my email, and Randall's email.  I was mesmerized and I couldn't help but click on the little envelope on facebook each time it had a number on top of it.  Click, download, save to folder.  Over 150 times.  Over 150 pictures as a memorial to my sweet Ezra.

Okay, let me back up here and explain WHY we were getting these pictures.  You see, about a month ago I was in the shower (where I do my best thinking) and I had the idea that we would send out a few letters to people with a balloon inside asking them to send it up to Ezra's birthday party in heaven.  I said in the letter that it was hard to imagine what we could do to make heaven more beautiful, but that I was sure God wouldn't mind if we sent up some balloons for the party.  We asked people to please take a picture of themselves or of their balloons when they let them go and send them to us because I wanted to put them as the last page in Ezra's baby book.  Now, to be honest, we expected to get maybe 20 pictures, if that.  We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of pictures (and LOVE) from our wonderful family, church family, friends, and co-workers.  It was truly amazing.  What I had planned to make into a PAGE is now going to be a whole book in itself.  Once school gets back into full swing and I have a few minutes to breathe, I'm going to upload them all to shutterfly and get started on Ezra's birthday book.

Beautiful balloon from Skip and Mandy Barker
Not only were we amazed by the sheer number of balloons that were sent to our sweet Ezra, but the messages on the balloons were incredible as well.  It was truly evident that the people who sent them truly love us and our son.  I know that Ezra was looking down with a big smile on his face as he saw people in Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Missouri, and who knows where else sending him presents.  My favorite comment was from my cousin in Kansas City who is about to start kindergarten.  His mom explained why they were sending up the balloons and he said, "Okay, but next year I want to send Legos."  :)

A year later and I still miss Ezra so much.  It's hard to even put into words how much I still grieve for him and long to hold him.  Several people told us how we've shown so much faith through this year, but most of the time I just feel like I'm still struggling to put one foot in front of the other.  I just struggle with a smile on my face, because when Ezra looks down from heaven I want him to see his Mommy with a smile and not a tear as much as possible.  I want him to see me how he would have been seeing me if he were here on earth.  I want him to tell Jesus, "Look - there's my mama.  She makes me laugh!" 

I love you, sweet Ezra.  Miss you like crazy!  XOXO

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Our sermon this morning was about having joy in the midst of trials.  The scripture was James 1:2-4, which says "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."  God knew how much I needed this scripture and this sermon this morning.  One of the biggest trials of my life came a year ago this week.  A year.  It seems almost impossible to comprehend it's been that long.  The way that my memory flashes back to those days, you would think it was yesterday.  As I listened to the the sermon this morning, I began to think about the joy of with James was speaking.  I don't think that it means you have to be happy or joyful in the actual situation, but remain content in the fact that God will bring you through it and teach you along the way. And, boy, has He taught me some things in the past year.  Do you mind if I share some with you?

1. He taught me to never take things for granted. Someone told me recently that we shouldn't view a healthy birth as "normal;" each one should be viewed as a miracle because there are so many things that could go wrong.  I think that can be applied to every aspect of our lives - a drive down the street; routine bloodwork; and most recently, a trip to the movie theater.

2. He taught me to value the people around me.  I'm so eternally grateful for the people in my life.  Randall, my parents, my family, my friends, my co-workers, my church family, my students...the list could go on and on and on.  

3. He taught me that it is okay not to be perfect.  It's okay to ask for help.  It's okay to cry on (many) shoulders.  It's okay not to answer "fine" when asked "how are you?"  Sometimes you just have to say, "I'm having a really crappy day, but it's going to get better."

4. He taught me to stand up for what I believe in, even if it seems insignificant to others.

I could keep going with the lessons I have learned over the past 12 months, but you get the picture.  I thought that my world was over when my sweet Ezra was called home to heaven on August 9, 2011.  But the earth is still spinning, God is still in control, and Ezra is having a ball in his perfect body running around in the grassy hills of heaven.  I wish everyday that he was down here with me and that I was helping him learn to walk and talk, but one day we will get to hang out together and there won't be rainy days to keep us inside.

We sang the following song 4 times this morning - twice in the early service and twice in the 11o'clock service.  I know it sounds selfish, but I know it was for me.

Blessed Be Your Name

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name
Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

I love you, my sweet baby, and I think about you all the time.  Mommy misses you like crazy.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Murder Mystery Dinner, Chattanooga, TN
I can't believe that it's already the end of June.  Randall and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary last week in Chattanooga.  We went to the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater and had a lunch cruise on the river.  We had a wonderful time.  I'm still not sure how to feel about having a good time - should I feel guilty, should I feel thankful that God has allowed me to feel happy again, should I know that Ezra would want me to be the happy Mommy he remembers?  Probably.  But it's difficult. 

Chattanooga, TN
Oh, and by the way, guess what we saw on the banks of the river during our cruise?  What would be the chances that down in Chattanooga a family of deer would be munching on the vegetation right beside the speedboats and riverboats.  Hello there, Ezra.

I went to the mailbox yesterday and pulled out a catalog, which at first glance looked like the 50th Oriental Trading catalog that we've received this month.  Upon closer examination, though, I saw it was a party planning catalog.  Okay, we get one of those every now and then from Oriental as well.  But this one was different.  It was filled with all first birthday themes.  A whole catalog full.  And then it hit me - we should be planning Ezra's first birthday.

But I can't send cupcakes to heaven.

So this morning in the shower, I started thinking.  I can't plan the special first birthday for my little boy that I would like, but I do want to do something special for him.  So that he knows his Mommy is thinking about him and wants him to have a special day.  But here in the Egan house, we typically end up having birthday weeks.  So that's what Ezra is going to get, too.  So be looking for something in the mail the first part of August, because YOU are going to help make this a special day for him.  Be ready!

I love you, my sweet Ezra.  Mommy thinks about you all the time.  I miss you.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ezra's Babysitter

Somewhere I read the following quote: "I know God will only give you what you can handle, but sometimes I think he trusts me too much."  I think that I could have penned this sentiment.  My grandmother, Winfreid, passed away on Thursday night.  She fell back at the beginning of the month and broke both of her legs right above her knee-replacements.  They could not do surgery because of the severity of the injury (and the fact that she was 92 years old) and she was in excruciating pain.  She was in the hospital for three weeks and they had to keep increasing the pain medication to the point that she was basically sedated because of the level of the pain she was in at the end.  It was so hard to see her in so much pain.  We spent the afternoon with her at the hospital on Thursday and left the hospital around 7.  We got a call around 9:30 saying that we needed to come back to the hospital.  We got another call about 10 minutes later saying that she was gone.  Mom, Dad, Randall, Pa and I went on to the hospital so that we could say our goodbyes, meeting Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Ken up there.

Our consolation is that she is with our sweet Ezra.  I can just imagine her up in heaven able to move around like she wanted to do here running through the fields and showing Ezra all the beautiful flowers.  On our way up to the funeral today, I saw a big, beautiful cumulus cloud.  I could just imagine the two of them sitting on the edge of the cloud with their legs hanging over swinging in the breeze and laughing together.  I could picture them waving down at our car going up the interstate and my grandma putting her hands to her mouth and shouting, "Don't worry about our baby - I'm here with him now."  Our baby.  Because she told me that she didn't send flowers to his funeral because instead she wanted to help with the stone and she gave me a note with money saying "for our baby."  My grandma was not an ooey-gooey sentimental person and this was such a strong statement from her.  I can't even begin to imagine the hugs and kisses she's given him since Thursday night.
King Graduation, 2005

Randall and I have been spending a lot of time this week with my parents and my grandpa.  They were married for 60 years.  I can't even begin to know how hard it was for him to say goodbye to her.  I'm cherish the special moments that we've gotten to spend together the past week, though.  Yesterday I was sitting with him and he took my hand, kissed it, and said "love you a bushel."  I know that makes my grandma smile when she looks down as well and she tells Ezra, "that's the sweet man I married."

I love you, sweet Ezra.  Give you great-grandma a big hug for me.  Love you both.  Miss you both.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

9 months + Mother's Day = Overload

It's been 9 months today.  9 months of grieving.  9 months of tears.  9 months of small steps towards my new normal.  I still haven't opened the door to his nursery.  I still haven't boxed up one thing.  I still can't go an hour without thinking about Ezra and how much I wish he was here with me.  I feel like I could take my first post, my post 3 months ago and a month ago and they would almost say the same thing.  I miss him.  I love him.  I grieve everyday wishing things were different. 

I joined a Facebook group called "Grieving Mothers" and they post several poems, quotes, and pictures a day.  Though many of them make me cry, I feel like these people who post these things are reading my thoughts.  They know exactly what I need to hear.  This poem was posted yesterday about Mother's Day.  Made me cry, but also made me smile. 

"Dandelions From Heaven"
Mothers Day is coming...and I wanted to send you a sign...

Something you can tell others..."Is from an angel of mine".
So I searched the Heavens high and low for that perfect thing..
And low and behold I found it....and a smile I hope it will bring.

So when you look to the Heavens...and see the yellow stars in the sky...
Just think of me...your angel... in the Heavens way up high...
And just imagine those stars...are dandelions up above...
Yes! Dandelions are also in Heaven...,which you know how much I love.

So on this Mothers Day... when you awake and feel blue...
You will notice those yellow stars...are no longer in view...
So just look to the meadows and the dandelions you see....
Are the ones I've tossed down this Mothers Day from me!

And when you find a dandelion that has turned from yellow to white...
You're supposed to make a wish...and then blow with all your might.
For you will be blowing kisses... to me in Heaven above....
And I will be catching them and blowing them back...sent with all my love.

Please know that I am with you...on this Mothers Day...
And also in the days ahead...God and I will never stray...
We will be with you in the morning...when you wake and see the sun..
We will be with you when you say your prayers...when the day is done.

For God and I will never be...very far from your side...
For I can now be everywhere...and God will be your guide...
So...remember when you see dandelions...its your guarantee...
That I am alway close to you....
For dandelions are free to roam.....now just like me.

I will always be with you Mom....
Happy Mothers Day
Love, Your Angel in Heaven.

When I walked out the door this morning I was sad because I knew what the date was.  When I got in my car I noticed that one of our Asiatic lilies was blooming.  Just one little bloom.  You can say that I'm grasping at straws, but I truly believe it was a message from my little Ezra.  His way of saying "I love you, Mommy."

I love you, my little Ezra.  Mommy thinks about you all the time.  I miss you. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


It's been awhile since I posted last....we've definitely been keeping busy.  We are out of school for spring break right now and tonight has been the first night where I could actually take time to post.  Our choir at Cassidy did a big music service for the Good Friday service at church and then we did some special music this morning, so it's been a busy time.  I feel like I'm running on empty.  I'm so glad that we have tomorrow and Tuesday out for our spring break and the short week for the remaining days will be a welcome breather as well.

We went to the cemetery today to take pictures of Ezra's Easter flowers that we put out for him.  They looked beautiful, even if I do say so myself.  It made my heart ache today to see all the pictures posted on facebook of all the families all dressed up in their Easter frocks and knowing that the picture I would be posting would be one from the cemetery.  Randall and I had already talked about what we wanted to do for Easter with Ezra - we were going to start a tradition of putting out an Easter basket the night before Easter (kind of like a stocking) for the Easter Bunny to come and fill for the next morning.  I could barely walk up the Easter aisle at Walmart thinking of how things should have been this year.  I still miss him so much.

I still have flashbacks in my mind of what we were doing this time last year and how we were planning for our sweet baby boy.  And besides the fact that today is Easter, I had the added thoughts today of 8 months ago when I was told that Ezra no longer had a heartbeat here on earth.  Tomorrow will be 8 months since I saw him for the first and last time.  I have trouble putting into words how this still makes me feel like I'm drowning.  When I think back to those days, I feel like I'm stuck below the water and I'm fighting to get back to shore.  I just wish I could go back to the weeks before, knowing what was to come, and make them deliver him early.  Because then everything would be okay.  He might have been a little premature, but he would be with me now.  I know that thoughts like those are probably not healthy, but I guess that's part of the grieving process....the "what might have beens" and the "I wish I could go back and make everything okay".

I miss you, sweet Ezra.  I hope that you enjoyed seeing the Easter sunrise from your side.  I love you, sweet boy.

**Note - I actually wrote this on Sunday and thought it posted, but it apparently did not....