Monthly Archives: March 2009

Double take

Dan and I had dinner last night at the home of friends.  We hadn’t seen their kids in a while and I was a little nervous seeing them because their youngest is Alexander’s age.  She just turned 2.  

When we finally arrived and I saw her, my first was that she’s certainly getting tall and the  second thought was she looks like Alexander.  Alexander and this little girl have been mistaken for brother and sister before.  I didn’t see the resemblance but now that she’s experience a growth spurt and is taller, slimmer and her hair  free flowing the way I let Alexander’s grow (her hair was neater), I can really see it. 

This little girl has always been a shy around me but last night, she seemed to warm up to me.  She kept bringing me toys to play with her and I read her a couple of books before she went to bed.  Perhaps, she sensed how much I was missing Alexander and was trying to cheer me up. 

All in all, it was a good night spent with good friends.

What do you say?

Though it’s been three months since Alexander’s passing, we still find ourselves running into people who don’t know what’s happened. 

I became Facebook friends with someone recently who didn’t know.  I think he probably discovered it after looking at my Facebook page.  We shared a couple of emails about it.

Dan and I went to see a show at the local theatre company and someone we hadn’t seen in awhile came over to say hello and ask about Alexander.  We were both shocked and kinda stared at him.  Dan was so stunned that he asked him to repeat his question.  Dan explained that Alexander passed in his sleep on December 20, but it was definitely an awkward moment for us all. The guy felt so bad that he decided it best to return to his seat.  I’m sure he’ll send Dan an email next week.

While it’s never easy telling someone my sweet little Alexander is gone, it was certainly easier handling the email.

Who knew taxes could cause such pain?

For various reasons, we’ve found it easier to use an accountant to do the taxes for us.  For the past few years, our tax process generally starts with me gathering all the information in the tax organizer the accountan’s office send us.  After I complete the forms, Dan and I review one last time before I take everything to the accountant.

Like many couples, Dan and I have had our fair share of disagreements when doing the taxes.  It usually results from me not categorizing something in Quicken the way he wanted.  Over the years, we’ve settled on how to categorize items and our tax return disagreements are minimal.  This year, things are different.

The tax organizer forms ask several questions about dependents.  One asks how long your dependent lived with you during the tax year and another asks you to provide the tax id number for any day care providers.  Both were questions I happily answered for our 2007 taxes, not so for 2008.

The hardest question of all to answer asks you to list any reasons you expect your deductions to change in the coming tax year.  Who really wants to list, “Yes, our deductions will change because our child passed away?”

I’ve had a couple of weeks to sit with the taxes but today was the first time Dan saw them.  I forgot to tell Dan the first few pages might be difficult to review.  

Aside from the taxes, the weekend was a bit weepy for both of us.  Two of Alexander’s friends turned 2 this weekend.  One of the friends he’d only just met and we’d only had the chance to have one playdate with her before he passed. 

The other family we met while we were both expecting and Alexander attended her 1 year birthday party last year.  At the time of the party, he was only 10 1/2 months old and not walking yet.  Alexander desperately wanted to walk,  and as he kept trying to hitch a ride on the birthday girl (who was walking), he kept pulling her down to the floor.   After a while, he gave up and settled on crawling around the basement.


Alexander enjoying birthday cake at a friend's 1st birthday party

I’m just so sad Alexander won’t get the chance to celebrate his 2nd birthday.  He always loved a party.

3 Months – Spring has sprung

It’s March 20, the first official day of spring and 3 months since Alexander’s passing.  I’m looking around the family room at Alexander’s photos and his face is so full of promise.  

I wasn’t sure if I could visit Alexander’s grave today.  I thought it would be too hard for me.  In the end, Dan and I visited together.  The groundskeepers had put out more grass seed on Alexander’s grave and new patches of grass were sprouting.  I had already shed plenty of tears at home as I was sitting in the family room looking at Alexander’s photos and didn’t shed any at his graveside.

It’s still so hard to comprehend what’s happened.  I just wish I could hold my baby and hear him say mommy.

Life Sucks

Life really sucks.  Because it was a sunny afternoon yesterday, I spent some time sitting in our backyard.  This time last year, we were scrambling to get the backyard done in time for Alexander’s 1st birthday party.  Yesterday, all I could was cry as I looked around the backyard and relived so many of the fun times we had out there.

I could see Alexander pushing his wagon during his birthday party because he wasn’t walking yet.  He could take a few steps but still needed help.  I could see him pulling up the stakes from my tomato plants and me getting frustrated every time.  I could see him playing with his water table or splashing around his baby pool.  Or, running through sprinkler when we’d water the grass.  I could see him throwing and chasing tennis balls.  I could see him dipping chips in salsa when we’d eat outside.   I could see playing host to the other kids when we hosted one night of the neighborhood ice cream socials last summer.  I could see my curious little boy being so happy exploring the backyard.  We spent a lot of time back there and I have so many wonderful memories.  Too many to list.

I often say to people that getting the backyard done was Alexander’s 1st birthday present from us.  While it’s still a little sad for me to be in the backyard without Alexander, especially as the weather gets warmer, I do feel close to him when I’m sitting out there.

Just a quiet day

It’s been a quiet weekend.  Last night, we had dinner at the home of friends but haven’t done much today.  Dan’s been sick all day and we’ve mostly just been watching t.v.

The therapist came to visit us at home yesterday.  She thought it would give her better insight into us and Alexander if she could see where we all lived together.  It was odd giving her a tour of our house and Alexander’s stuff.  Where he played.  Where he slept. Where he ate.  Everything.  I’m not sure it helped me but I do think it helped her.

I really miss Alexander.

Autopsy results

According to NJ law, the medical examiner had 120 days to provide us with a final autopsy report on Alexander.  Starting in January, I checked in periodically with the M.E.’s office to find out progress. When I called last week, I found out all testing had been done and the report would be available soon.  I called again today and the report was ready.  The M.E. happened to be in the office when I called, and she gave me the news over the phone.  Alexander passing is officially being ruled Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC).  This is what we expected to hear but it was still very troubling to me.  I really wanted them to find something.  Anything that would offer an explanation as to what happened to Alexander.  In addition to the Mercer County Medical Examiner, a pediatric pathologist also reviewed Alexander’s case and both agreed on the finding.

Dan and I have to decide about completing the paperwork to include Alexander in the SUDC study being conducted in San Diego.  Dan definitely wants us to do it.  I was waiting to get the final autopsy results.  Now that we have them, I need to process my feelings.  I’m sure I’ll do it.

When Alexander was born, we signed up for cord blood storage through ViaCord.  It was a small price to pay to have another way to protect him from a future illness.  Little did we know, that protection would be useless against the silent threat that took Alexander away from us.In the mail today, I got a letter reminding us that the annual storage fee was coming due (a week after Alexander’s birthday).  I called to find out our options regarding the cord blood.  Dan and I have yet another tough decision to face.

It’s been a very emotional day for me as I continue to sleepwalk through what has become my life.

Feeling blue

On the way out to meet friends for dinner last night, Dan and I were listening to NPR on the radio.  There was a story on about a kids musical group and how they also appealed to adults.  We listened to the story for a few minutes before I had to switch the station.  I was starting to cry because I was missing Alexander so much.

We had a good time at dinner.  In addition to the friends we were meeting, we also ran into a few other friends.  Everything was fine for me until we headed home because I knew I was going home to an empty house without Alexander.

I woke around 8am this morning but I stayed in bed.  I was hoping that sleep would overtake me so I didn’t have to think about how much I was missing Alexander.  The house is just so quiet without him.

We had no plans today so I thought I would use the day to catch up on some things.  I’ve been so sad all day and haven’t managed to do much.  I did make yet another journey to Target to get some photos printed.  After that, I went to visit Alexander.  It was such a warm day that I decided to take myself lunch to eat while I sat quietly thinking of Alexander.  It was a tough visit today and I spent most of the time crying.

Quote I found/Snowman is gone

When I was looking online for quotes to use on the memorial sign for Alexander, I came across the one below:

Children who die young are some of our greatest teachers. We are allowed to die when we have taught what we came to teach and when we have learned what we came to learn.  ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.

Alexander was definitely one of my greatest teachers during his short time with us.  He taught me about complete, unconditional love.  About enjoying each moment in life.  I found myself smiling and laughing more because Alexander’s happiness was so infectious.  There is so much more I learned from him.

However, I can’t help but think I still had a lot to learn from him and I certainly had more that I wanted to teach him.

When I went to visit Alexander today, his snowman had melted.  I knew with the warmer weather this would be the case but it was just another reminder of how fleeting life is and we can never be sure how long something is going to last.

Alexander got his snowman

I went by to visit Alexander yesterday.  Since there was still plenty of snow, I was able to build him a small snowman.  I didn’t have enough time to add the eyes, arms, etc. before I got kicked out of the cemetery.  The groundskeeper was trying to lock up and needed me to leave.  Lucky for me, he drove around to see if there was anyone left before he locked the gate.

During today’s visit, I added eyes, arms, and nose.  Alexander's snowman