Saturday, December 31, 2011

Not just another day

I would love to say that tomorrow is just going to be like every other day.

I would love to say that moving into the new year doesn't sway me in any way.

But it isn't, and it does.

Moving into the new year means that 2011 is over. I can't say that my son died in May of this year. I can't say that it's been a couple months since he was born. In two months, Corbin would have been a year old. 
A year old. 

That scares me. Time is moving so fast. Too fast. 

Before I had kids, even before I was married, the new year was never a big thing for me. I've stayed up to watch the ball drop but it's always been kind of boring for me. In my college days it was just another excuse to stay out and party. It really never meant anything to me and was just another day.

But now it's not just another day. It's a milestone. A road mark along the road of time. Now it means to me that another year has passed since my son was born. Another year that I have to spend without him. I don't want to keep going, I want to stay in the one perfect day we had with Corbin. Before all the doctor's visits, before the ambulance and the emergency room, before all the pain and suffering. 
February 23rd, 2011. The one and only perfect day we had Corbin with us at home. How I ache to return to that day. That day will come again, way too soon, and I dread the emotions that will come racing back. I dread experiencing that day again without him. How I dread February. And look, now we're just two months away.

February isn't all bad. It is also the month my first son was born. February 21st. Some of you may not know, but Monkey and Peanut were born 364 days apart. Monkey on the 21st, and Peanut on the 20th of February. No, I did not plan it that way! 

2012 also brings good news! Indiana will start testing every single newborn for heart defects using pulse ox! Thanks to Cora's mom, Kristine. This is a very exciting, and very emotional time for her, if you could all keep her in your thoughts tomorrow as the testing begins. I'm sure we will be seeing, very soon, an article about a baby that will be saved, thanks to her efforts. 

2012 is bound to be a very exciting year. We will be introducing our WV pulse ox bill to the houses. I will be starting my new job working to spread awareness and education about newborn screening. Monkey will be turning two. But it will also be very painful. Another year without Corbin, and more holidays and birthdays we will spend without him.

2011 was a very hard year for this family, but we did meet and gain a lot of new friends that we can call family. We have found love and support from all over the world and we are so truly thankful. We would not have stayed strong without your support and kind messages. So I want to take the opportunity to thank you all. Thank you for being there. Thank you for caring. And most of all, thank you for not forgetting the Peanut. He is the reason we are all together and working to save lives. So let's toast 2011 to Corbin. To the Peanut and his determination and fighting spirit. 
We love you Peanut and will never forget you. We live the rest of our lives to honor you.

Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One night, around a tree...

Yesterday evening, my husband and I, and some of our family attended a candle vigil at the local mall. A friend had started an Angel Tree, where the community could hang ornaments to remember loved ones who have passed or to remember someone who is living and needs prayers.

There were a lot of ornaments hung..

And one for another little baby who had passed. 

Corbin's hung right above his.

A preacher was there to say some prayers, and share some words..

Some of us shared our stories and memories of loved ones passed. My husband shared our story, as I stood and cried. Then we lit our candles, saying out loud the name of our loved one.

There were more words said, then we all recited the Lord's Prayer, then blew out our candles.

After it was over, a few people came over to me to say their condolences and tell me that they had followed Corbin's story while he was in the hospital. It was heart warming to meet the people in person who had prayed for my boy. I was surprised by how many knew about him.

I approached a pregnant woman, who told me she was due in March with her second boy, and told her about Corbin, heart defects, and why all she needs to do is ask for a pulse ox test when her son is born. I never want to scare a mother, so I was a little nervous, considering why we were there. But she took it very well, and sincerely thanked for me sharing my story and said she would be sure to ask for the test. It was healing to know that at least one more baby will be tested.

I was next approached by a mother who told me her niece had passed away from Williams Syndrome as well! I was blown away to meet someone who had experienced the same as us. She told me her niece wasn't diagnosed with William's till she was about ten months old, that she never learned to walk and had developed slowly. She then passed away at 18 months old from undetected heart defects. I cried knowing that I wasn't alone, knowing that another baby had passed away from heart defects, and from the kindness of a stranger for sharing her story.

The entire experience was healing and very moving. A room full of people hurting and missing their loved one who all came together to share their story and share their love. 

The preacher mentioned that by sharing our story, we could be helping that one person who needed to hear it. That one person who may have gone through the same thing. I'm so glad my husband spoke up; I wanted to so badly but just could not get the words out. A father of a young man who had passed came up and thanked us for what we are doing with pulse ox and how we are trying to save lives. It was heart warming to hear those words. To know that other people truly do appreciate what we are doing.

The preacher also mentioned that sometimes people receive a sign from their loved one. He said it's not coincidence and that it is truly a sign from God that your loved one is okay. I shared with him the time I was at Corbin's grave and a tiny white moth came over and touched my leg, then flew away. Then the time I was listening to "If I Die Young" by The Band Perry, and the line "make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother" came on the radio. I send up a quick prayer hoping to see a rainbow as a sign from Corbin. And not a minute later, to my left, was a double rainbow! In times like that, there is no way you can say it was a coincidence. God heard my prayer and sent a rainbow to let me know Corbin was okay. No matter what you believe in, it is always amazing to see those signs. 

I also met a mother whose little boy had passed away two years ago. I approached her crying, saying "I'm so sorry", and we shared a hug. She told me that slowly over time, it gets less painful. She also has a two year old. It's good to meet someone who has so much in common, though I wish we didn't share infant loss.

I hope they can do the Angel Tree again next year. I enjoyed sharing our stories and sharing tears with others who had gone through the same thing. Thank you to those who approached us with your kind words, it was nice to hear.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My best friend

It surprises me how well my best friend knows me. She called me one day, I answered, and just from my greeting she knew I was depressed. I said nothing about it, I was even making an effort to sound "normal", but she knew.

My best friend knows that sometimes things I say come out wrong. 
Best Friend: Please excuse the mess in my house, I haven't had a chance to clean.
Me: Oh don't worry about it, I'm used to it.

To any outsider, that would sound like I'm used to her house being a total mess and that it doesn't matter anymore. But in truth, I meant that I know she's busy and tired and hasn't had a second to herself and on her day off, she just wants to relax.
NOT that I think she's a slob.

My best friend knows that when I'm down, all she has to do is leave a Chuck Norris joke on my Facebook wall, and it will be sure to make me giggle.

My best friend knows I would marry Sean Connery in another life and I think his accent is divine. 
And that this poster cracks me up every time.

My best friend knows me better then I know myself sometimes.

My best friend says things like "Ruth, your Marrs is showing". Referring to my tendency to say the wrong thing.

I don't know where I would be without her. 
She's the one that introduced me to my husband.

My best friend is my sister and I love her. I'm so thankful our lives intersected 11 years ago.
I just wanted to make sure she knows I appreciate everything she's done for me and I know we will be friends for a very long time. <3

Monday, December 12, 2011


OMGOSH I'm so excited!

My article (that I wrote for the American Heart Association about pulse ox, heart defects, and Corbin's story) has been published!!!!
This is a huge step. This isn't just networking through Facebook, Google+, and Twitter anymore. 

We're in print!

So it is super, uber important that you share this story! We need you to share so that as many people as possible will read this article and join our cause.
Our cause to save lives.
To save lives in honor of Corbin.

It only takes a second. So please, please, pretty please SHARE!

Social media is powerful. Let's see how far we can spread this?!

Find the article here.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


This is our first Christmas without the Peanut. I don't know if it makes it any easier or harder because it is our first, since we haven't celebrated it with him before. But it is hard in the sense I don't know what to do to include him. I've never had to do this before.

When I heard there was an angel tree at the mall, I was excited to make something to not only could we remember Peanut, but everyone who saw his story could as well. 

So I started to make a Christmas ornament to hang on the angel tree. 

The supplies:

I've had this ornament since Monkey was born, but have never used it. It was perfect.

I hand painted around the frame...

I love how it turned out.

I took his along with an ornament I put together in honor of Cora and her two year death anniversary and hung them together on the angel tree at the mall in Beckley. They are trying to raise money for Hospice so I made a small donation as well.

In memory of Corbin and Cora. <3