Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Birthday

Today would have been Blake's 6th birthday - I can't believe it has been 6 years since he entered the world, so much has happened between then and now.  There are times when I swear it was just yesterday, and others when if seems like 100 years have passed.  I often look at other kids about the same age, and wonder what Blake would have been like at that age.   The strangest things catch me off guard, this year he would have started Kindergarten, and the first day school was a very sad day for me.  And sometimes when I see how much Sloan is doing, and how much Blake missed out on, it's hard not to be sad.

Most days I'm so grateful that I was given such an amazing gift, even if it was for such a short time.  He was the gentlest of souls, wise and loving.  And he taught me so much about life,  I love him and I miss him everyday.

As time started to pass, I really started to worry that people would forget Blake.  I knew that I never would, and that my family would always remember him, but I wanted his lessons and memory to have a bigger impact.  The following year, I participated in the Cares for Kids Radiothon benefiting the Alberta Children's Hospital.  It was a very healing experience for me, and to this day, if I think I'm having a bad day, I listen to the piece from the radiothon to help me put my "bad" day in perspective.  I'd like to share the radiothon piece with you now.

Before the radiothon we had actually already started a collection for the Children's Hospital, something we ended up calling "Nickels for Blake".  My cousins, Austin and Matt, were having a hard time with understanding how someone younger than them could pass away.  And my Aunt and Uncle did a great job and explained things to them, and out of that conversation, they determined that a found penny would be a message from Grandma, and a found nickel would be Blake's way of saying hello.

I have found more nickels over the last 6 years than any other coin - considerably more.  In fact, I almost never find anything other than a nickel, and I have a special jar just for those messages from Blake.  Some of the stories are incredible, but a recent one, that I love goes like this.  Sloan's first night was pretty much sleepless, Sloan and I had rocked and walked in every room of the house.  And when he finally fell asleep it was on my chest on the couch in the living room. And there we stayed.  The next morning, as the sun started to shine into the living room, I noticed something shiny on the chair next to the couch.  I truly thought I was halicunating from the lack of sleep.  But there right in the middle of the chair was a shiny nickel, and not just any nickel, a nickel minted in 2005 - the same year Blake was born and passed away. 

In the begining when things like this happened, I would fight it, look for some explaination, and then  I would cry, and cry and cry.  Now I can just take a photo of the nickel, and tell Blake right back that I love him.

The Nickels have truly taken on a life of their own.  My friends and family have been saving nickels (or just making a donation) for almost 6 years now.  And in the last 5 years alone, the Alberta Children's Hospital has been gifted almost $80,000 in Blake's name, not counting the radiothon or initial donations. 

My Uncle Merv and Auntie Mona have played a huge role in this gift.  They have hosted a poker tournament for their customers, and every year the proceeds of the tournament have gone to the hospital in Blake's name.  The tournament was held on March 6 this year and raised $13,560 in one afternoon, bringing their contribution to over $49,500. 

I want to say thank you to everyone who has donated this year, and in years past.  It's a wonderful legacy for Blake, and helps his Mom to know people haven't forgotten him. And I truly believe it couldn't be going to a better spot.



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

10 1/2 Months Old

Dear Sloan,

I have noticed you have hijacked my blog from time to time to relay a message to me.  So I thought I'd return the favor.

I hope someday to be able to print this blog, and give it to you as a gift.  A little more detailed than a typical baby book with stories and memories captured as you grow up.  And it's been going pretty well.  However, in order to continue on with this project I need your cooperation.

You might notice, that there was no post at the 10 month mark, and in fact your mother is a full 2 weeks late - Much to my chagrin.  For 2 weeks now, you have been a little uncooperative.   Auntie Jodi tried to cut your hair in your chair, but lucky for me I got to hold you for your haircut instead...and get completely covered in your hair while you cried in my ear.  Hence no photos.

I make plans, and you sleep for 2 hours, I keep the day open and you keep your eyes open.  I take you shopping and you frown at the other people, I keep you home, and you giggle and laugh all day.
I tried to get 10 month photos - but finally the photographer, gently suggested perhaps we try again another day,  because "she knew you could take cute photos".  Finally,  we captured the all important 10 1/2 months old photos. And it took some doing!  We brought your Dad along, and by giving you my keys, necklace, and Dad's hat, with Dad sitting in front of you entertaining you, and me sitting beside you, we did get some good shots, I never knew I wanted pictures with necklaces and keys before, but it all worked out.  I'm pretty sure I won't be able to talk your Dad into this every month though, honestly, I don't know that' I'm up for it either!

Well, maybe I am up for it, they are pretty cute pictures, and look we even got a couple of family photos.

And today was great, you were happy, happy, happy.  So happy in fact we even managed to weigh you, and measure you, and get groceries! So at 10 1/2 months we will forever know you weighed 21 lbs, 10 oz, and were 31.5" long. 

Anyway, I just wanted to explain...

Love,  Mom