Thursday, August 19, 2010

I can do anything

Dear Stevie,
Last night I stayed up way past my bedtime, chatting for hours with the lovely Andrea. We talked about all we hope to do with Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope, and just about life in general. It is so wonderful to talk to someone who truly gets it. Every single one of the women I have gotten to know in this "babyloss" community is amazing, but like with any community, there are going to be those that you just totally "click" with, and Andrea is one of those people. We share a lot of the same interests (like photography, though she is way better than I'll ever be!), and just seem to have a lot in common.

One of the big things we have in common is that we both get a bit crazy and obsessed (in a good way!) when we get excited about something. Take Faces, for example. For the past few weeks, we've been going back and forth, email after email after email, with more and more ideas. Like, "let's do this!" and then "okay, and then we can add this too!" and then "yeah, and then we should also try this!" and then "totally, and then why don't we do this!"

The thing is, before you died, I would often have really great ideas (if I do say so myself!), but very rarely would I actually follow through on any of them. But it's different now. Now, it's not just, "we should totally distribute Faces postcards to hospitals," it's "yes, we should....and here is what the design will look like, and this is what it would cost to print them, and I will start creating a list of hospital bereavement contacts at hospitals around the country." It's not just, "we should totally turn Faces into an official 501c3 nonprofit someday," it's, "yes, we should...and here are the first steps we need to actually make that happen." Our big dreams and ideas are becoming actuality. And it's incredibly exciting.

For the first time in my life, I am not just saying, "I should do this," I am actually doing it. And it's all because of you, Baby.

It's like, if I can go through losing you, I can do anything. I have gone through the very worst thing that can happen to someone, really, and you know what? I survived. There were certainly times I wanted to give up and go wail in a corner somewhere, but I didn't. I'm here. I'm making it.

I think back to how I was, how I felt, three months ago, in the days and weeks immediately following your death, and I am amazed at how far I've come. I truly thought I would never be happy again. I truly believed I would never smile, or laugh, or feel "normal" again. And I've done all those things. Not to say I'm not still sad, or that I don't still struggle and have really bad days, obviously, but I am damn proud of myself. I've been kicked to the ground and have somehow managed to dust myself off and get back up again. That's quite an accomplishment, if you ask me.

Sometimes I find myself amazed by my own strength. By the strength and resiliency of the human spirit. It's empowering. And it's given me a whole new attitude and outlook on life.

I feel like I can literally do anything these days. Everything seems easy, a piece of cake, when compared to holding your dead child in your arms. I used to think about how cool it would be to start my own nonprofit someday, but never thought I'd ever actually be able to pull it off. Now, it's like why not?  

I can do that. 

I used to talk about how cool it would be to be a writer, but then I'd quickly follow it up with, "but I'm not good enough." Now, it's like, I may not be a Mark Twain or Ernest Hemmingway, but I can write just as well as a lot of published authors out there (I mean, come on--just look at Twilight!), so why not?

I can do that.

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that the people who are successful and get the things they want out of life are the people who just go for it. The people who are willing to take a risk and jump in. The people that think "I can do that" and, well, do it. That's the kind of person I want to be, the kind of person you are teaching me to become. Life is way too short to live any other kind of way.

Thank you for inspiring me, and for helping me realize I can do anything. Anything and everything I set my mind to. I will take this new found confidence you've given me and use it to do great things, Stevie, I promise.

I love you, little girl of mine.



Kerri said...

I'm so proud of you Kristin, and so inspired!

Nicole said...

I love this post, Kristin. :) It's amazing when we can look over our shoulder at the months behind us and see how far we've come. Sometimes I amaze myself too. You are strong and amazing, girl!! I'm so glad you're having inspired, better moments and days. <3

Julie said...

kristin, you are so inspiring. stevie would be so proud of her mommy.

Kelley and Chris said...

This post makes so much sense to me Kristin. For a few years now, I have said over and over again how I wanted to be a photographer. Not really just for fun, but maybe for a living. Funny thing is, I don't even know how to use my fabulous camera. I always said, "I should take a class" and just see what happens. I should do this, I should do that. But I never did. Well, I am now. I start my first class on September 7th. Life is too short to not at least try to do something you love. I may not be successful, but at least I will know I tried. You are doing great things Kristin. I'm proud of you. And so is Stevie.

Holly said...

Stevie is great inspiration to do anything! I'm sure she's rooting for you. (And everyone else too!)

Stephanie said...

I understand that amazing rush of a good idea that is inspired from our children ~ one that turns from a whisper of hope into a great idea when we let ourselves run with it!

When it comes from the heart, when you give yourself the freedom to be unleashed and run with it ~ anything can happen!

I hope that your feelings and motivation are unhindered and continue only to grow and touch many lives! If there is anything I can do to contribute...I would love to!

Andrea said...

You are such an inspiring person and I know Stevie and so many others are proud of you. I'm so thankful for your friendship and beyond excited to be a part of Faces!

It is amazing what one tiny life can bring to your life. Nothing seems difficult in comparison to losing a child. These inspiring days are so helpful in giving us strength to get through the difficult ones. I know you will accomplish great things in honor of Stevie.

Lori said...

You CAN do anything!!! You are exactly right--you have had the worst thing in your life dealt to you and you survive it every day. It puts pretty much all else in perspective, doesn't it...and allows you to see how very much you are capable (though never wanted!) of!!


Violet1122 said...

Kristin - I am so proud of you. And grateful for your blog and all that you do for the babyloss community.

I know Stevie is bursting with pride about her mother.

((Big Hugs))

Franchesca said...

Yes to it all Kristin. After losing your child it does feel like everything else is a piece of cake. I'm so proud of all you're doing. You can do it, you are an inspiration.


rebecca said...

Completely get it, I cannot stop thinking of ideas on how to change things in my area to help others who go through this type of loss. It's so addicting! So thankful for would not believe how far reaching your blog is. At a local support group I attended tonight everyone was talking about it & how amazing it is. You rock, love ya:)

Antoinette said...

I had this exact discussion at therapy tonight!! It is like nothing else in life seems as hard as 'this' has. I am like, what ever if I can do this, I can definitely do that..."That" is nothing, its the least I can do..."This" is the hardest thing any mother has to do...I am kind of curious about the FOL secrets!!!

croleyc69 said...

I'm so proud of you & love everything your doing. You can do it. You are amazing.


Lilly's Mom (Desiree) said...

:) Thanks for being an inspiration to us all! xoxo

Mina said...

I have so much respect for all that you have accomplished, and I think you are a true inspiration. Good for you for going for it.

Jama said...

You are an inspiration to me! I have followed your blog for awhile but just never commented. I just lost a baby at 7 weeks about a month ago. We weren't trying to get pregnant (I have a 7 month old boy) but we were really excited about having our kids close in age. I never thought something like that would happen to me. :-/ I'm still not over it and I'm not sure anyone can ever "get over" the loss of a baby. Please keep doing what you're doing with this blog and Faces of Loss!

Jenny said...

I love the inspiration & promise of this post. :)

I'm so proud of you & so happy that you've found a way to pick yourself up, dust off, and make things happen. Although I haven't experienced baby loss personally, I've visited the Faces website many times & I have to say, it's amazing. What you've done to bring people together in their most difficult times is awesome. I know it makes a difference for those who've experienced that type of loss to know they're not alone.

*Hugs* I'm sure Stevie is SO proud of you!

Marthavmuffin said...

Youre right if we don't take risks we dont get the great joys that life offers. you just can't tell folks that who are afraid. Each has to figure it out themselves.

Not too many elderly people look back on what they did wrong...they look back with regret on what they didn't attempt.

s said...

beautiful beautiful blog.
i am so proud of you.
stevie would be too!
she is looking down at you and smiling!!!!

Beverlee said...

I work for HFA (Hennepin Faculty Asscociates). It is a non-profit medical organization affiliated with HCMC (Hennepin County Medical Center) and several other clinics around the Twin Cities. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help. Don't stop achieving your goals. You will do good in this world.

Krystal said...

You can do it and I hope we all see your progress in the future!! You're a strong lady and an inspiration.

ICLW # 106:

Kristin said...

Wow Kristin, I am totally blown away by how far you have come since I first found your blog. You have done amazing things. I love the idea of faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. I hope to submit my story there soon.

#28 ICLW

butterflymom said...

You are amazing, Kristin. Stevie is definitely looking down on you all the time and smiling at what her mommy is doing. Follow those dreams!! Love to you.

T said...

Thank you for your blog and sharing ALL that you share. I just spent the past few hours going through your letters and they are so tender and sweet. Thank you!

Erin said...

Good for you, Kristin! I'm so amazed by all you have done in the past few months and by how many people you have already been able to help in your own suffering and grief. And just the other day, I was saying to Brady that I didn't think it would be long before FOLFOH became a legit, 501c3 non-profit :)

Miriam said...

Popping by from ICLW! You have a gorgeous blog and an inspiring attitude! Thank you!

Tiffany McBride-Stewart said...

You should think about bringing it to Canada as well. If I can help in any way possible message me on facebook!

Glass Case of Emotion said...

I really admire what you are doing! I wish I could help in some way!

Tina said...

Hi, dropping in from ICLW. I just read through quite a few of your posts and couldn't get through most without tears. I'm so sorry about your beautiful, Stevie. I think your project is so inspiring. I'll be following along and can't wait to see how it grows!

Prayers and hugs to your family.

ICLW #172

Beryl said...

Just found my way over here from the "Faces" site. This letter was so inspiring and you seriously took words out of my mouth.

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