Monthly Archives: May 2009

The Circus

As I was out running errands yesterday, I saw the circus entertainers preparing for their shows this weekend.  Sitting in traffic and hearing all the delighted laughter from the children made me cry a little.  It was just another reminderof something else I would miss out on doing with Alexander.  The circus comes to town every year and we probably would have taken Alexander this year.

The pool opened at the club over the weekend.  Dan and I have never gone to the pool a lot but went more often last year because Alexander really enjoyed being in the water.  We had some good times with him there splashing around in the baby pool.  We’ve decided that we’re going to skip the pool this year.  It would just be too sad without Alexander.

Mother’s Day Origins

I was talking to someone over the weekend who was explaining to me the origins of the Mother’s Day holiday.  This person had also lost a child recently and this story was told to her.  After I got home, I had to do some research on my own.

There are many stories about the origins of Mother’s Day taking back to the ancient Greeks to the celebrations we have today.  There have been celebrations tied to the Christian church; to Julia Howe who was so distraught by the violence and death of the Civil War that she called on mothers to protest the killing of other mother’s son by their sons; and to women wanting to create a national holiday to celebrate their own mothers.  There have been fights over the commercialization of Mother’s Day and someone even tried to patent the day.  Through it all, one thing has remained common:  Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate all mothers.  A day to honor and cherish them.  A day to reflect upon life.

I had no idea about the origins and am glad to know more about the history.  Here is a link to one of the sites I found with the history:

It’s the Memorial Day weekend.  Last year for Memorial Day, we took Alexander to Dallas for what we thought would be the first of many Artfests to come in the years ahead.  He’d just celebrated his first birthday about 3 weeks before and was walking comfortably on his own.  The weather in Dallas was unbearably hot.  It’d been a while since I was there and so I forgot how hot it could get. Alexander wasn’t used to the heat and didn’t like it at all.  We tried to keep him inside as much as we could and made sure he had plenty of water to drink.

We got to see several friends and Alexander had the best time dancing and of course flirting.    Here is a link to Alexander dancing at the 2008 Artfest:

The Junior League had its Rhythm & Brews Festival this Saturday.  When we decided we’d put on the event, one of my first thoughts was Alexander is going to love it.  He loves music, dancing and being social.  There were lots of kids activities and plenty of room to run around.  He would have had the best time.  It was hard for me to be at the event without him.

One of the vendors at the R&B Festival had met Alexander on a few occasions and so when I saw her, she immediately asked how’s the baby.  With tears in my eyes, I had to tell her the news.  Like everyone else, she was completely shocked and asked if he’d been sick.  We chatted for a few second about what happened and then she gave me a big hug.  As I continue to have to tell people about what has happened to Alexander, it reminds me just how many lives he touched.

We spent a good part of yesterday morning doing yardwork.  Even though we had plans to get the backyard done, I always think of the backyard as Alexander’s 1st birthday present from us because we rushed to get it done so we could have his party in the backyard.  We had lots of good times with him back there and every time I’m back there, I keep waiting to hear his voice or see him chasing tennis balls or trying to water the plants.

I piddled around for the rest of the weekend.  I just didn’t have the energy to do much more.

People are always telling me how strong and how they can’t believe I’m doing all I’m doing.  What they don’t realize is that it continues to be a struggle everyday to get out of the bed, to make sure I eat and just try to be a part of the life that is moving forward without me.  I may seem strong on the outside but inside my heart is broken in an infinite number of pieces that I’m trying to figure out how to put back together again.

5 months today

Five months ago my life changed beyond belief.  Five months and one day ago was the last time I saw Alexander smile.  Five months and one day ago was the last time I heard him say mommy and give me a hug. Five months and one day ago was the last time I saw him running around our house.

It’s been a tough day for me.  I didn’t have errands I had to do today so I spent my day in tears in front of the tv.  I didn’t cry all day but I shed a lot of tears.

I did spend part of the day educating myself and listened to videos about computer programming.  I was trying to enhance my mind for my business. Because they force me to focus, I think it’ll be good for me to watch these videos at least an hour or two every day.  

The only time I got out of the house today was when I went to visit Alexander.  I sat on the ground and just talked to him.  As I was visiting Alexander’s graveside, I noticed how much the tree above him had grown.  In the winter months, it was barely noticeable, but now it’s a beautiful green umbrella protecting my child.

Dan has been traveling this week and got home this evening.  After I picked him up from the train station, we went out for dinner.  We did ok with spending an evening out and talking to whomever happened to be at the country club.

Taking a break from therapy

I’ve decided to take a break from therapy.   

I’ve been chatting a lot online with other SUDC moms.  I may go back to the therapist at some point in the future, but for me, for right now, chatting with the other SUDC moms is what I need.

I had a tennis lesson this afternoon.  I haven’t played in awhile so I was a bit rusty and am actually a little sore now.  I did stretch before the lesson and the lesson itself wasn’t that strenous.  I guess I’m just a bit out of shape.  I was a little sad while I was playing because I kept thinking about how much I enjoyed “playing tennis” with Alexander in our backyard.  He really liked tossing the tennis balls and holding his racquet trying to hit balls.

This journey is so hard.

I was looking at photos of Alexander this evening and I couldn’t stop crying.  I miss him so much.  After I put the photos away, I tried to distract myself with playing mindless games on my cell phone.  Didn’t work.  

I’ve said this many times before but I just can’t believe my sweet little Alexander is no longer here with me.  I just can’t believe I have to live without seeing my little boy’s smiling face and feeling his loving hugs.

Long Day

Yesterday was  a long day. I had a lot of errands but it wasn’t enough to distract me from my pain.   It was one of those days that I really missed Alexander and shed many tears.  I kept thinking about the last couple of weeks and how happy we both were hanging out together.  I always loved the time I spent with him but those last couple of weeks were really special.  

I had a meeting last night that was about an hour or so away.  I got really lost before I finally made it to the meeting.  Getting lost only added to my frustration and depression of the day.  I just felt like nothing went right yesterday.

Sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed and don’t know what to do.


Just got back from the Cezanne exhibit.  We enjoy visits to the museum and I especially like to go for special exhibits.  However, today was too crowded even for me.  There were several times I felt boxed in and unable to easily move. Coupled with the fact that I saw a little boy that reminded me so much of Alexander, the museum visit wasn’t quite the distraction I hoped it would be.

Summer Sundays

Our weekends have started to include grave tending.  This is certainly not something I expected at this point in my life and certainly not something I expected to have to do for Alexander.  The groundskeepers do a good job of keeping the grass cut at the cemetery but the cemetery is so big that they do the cutting in sections.  With all the rain we’ve had lately, the grass and weeds are really sprouting up.

When I was visting Alexander recently, I overheard another couple visting a family member say ‘It’s been so long I can’t remember which one it is.’  Rain or shine, I visit Alexander’s grave a few minutes nearly every day.  I can’t imagine a time would come that I would say I can’t remember which plot is his.

We’ve had a busy weekend.  Out for dinner with friends on Friday and Saturday nights and we’re supposed to go see the Cezanne exhibit in Philadelphia this afternoon.  I miss Alexander terribly but it was nice to have a lot to do.

Making it through the firsts

The week since Alexander’s birthday has been a difficult one for me. Mother’s Day was exactly one week after his birthday.  Having to deal with those two firsts without Alexander took an emotional toll on me. I feel so exhausted and drained all the time. Like it takes every bit of energy I have just to make it through the day.

I cry spontaneously at the smallest reminders of Alexander.  It could be something on tv or looking at a photo that brings back waves of emotion that overtake me.

I had a call with other SUDC moms last night.  We’re all in different places in our grief journey but I think the conversation was helpful to us all.  

I had to tell someone else about Alexander this week.  I try to prepare myself in advance for these conversations because there are certain people I know won’t know about our loss.  Just as prepared as I think I am to be able to say Alexander passed in December without breaking down, I always end up in tears.  I think because it’s still so hard for me to believe, it’s still hard for me to say.

I miss you Alexander.

May 3 – Alexander’s 2nd Birthday


Today is Alexander’s 2nd birthday. 

It’s such a sad time for me because I’ve really been missing Alexander all day.

We marked this special day with a park dedication in Alexander’s honor.  Our neighborhood has a tot lot where the younger kids play. Alexander learned to slide in this play area and enjoyed the time we spent there.  When some of our neighbors presented us with the idea of renaming the tot lot for Alexander, we thought it was a great way to keep his memory alive. Our neighbors did all the work (contacting the mayor’s office, going to city council meetings, etc.) of making it happen.  My only request was that we hold the dedication on his birthday. I’m happy to say it all worked out.  Despite the rainy day, many of our friends and family showed up for the ceremony.

Alexander Michael Dodson Memorial Tot Lot

This is the sign you see as you enter the Alexander Michael Dodson Memorial Tot Lot


There were also three trees planted near the tot lot area for Alexander.


Beautiful rosebud trees planted for Alexander

Beautiful rosebud trees planted for Alexander



Following the ceremony, we had lunch with Dan’s family.  Since I had been planning a Cinco de Mayo themed birthday party for Alexander this year, we decided to have Mexican.  After a filling lunch, we headed to the cemetery to visit Alexander.


Balloon release during the dedication ceremony.

Balloons released during the dedication ceremony.












The balloons we released for Alexander during the tot lot dedication.

The balloons we released for Alexander during the tot lot dedication.












The past several days leading up to Alexander’s birthday have been hard on us.  Both Dan and I have had some weepy days.  We can’t just believe our baby isn’t here with us.  

Dan has been looking for about a year for the “perfect” new car.  The two requests I had for the car was that it needed to have a back seat for Alexander and that I wouldn’t mind being seen in it.  On Friday night, we went into New York City to see a car.  Dan is really into electric cars these days and has shown me some real doozies I wouldn’t be caught riding in even if I was heavily disguised.  However, the Tesla Model S, I do like.

Unfortunately, because of the rain, the Tesla folks were packing up the car when we arrived.  We did get a glimpse of it and Dan was able to ask the salesperson some questions.  Going in to see the car was a little sad. Being able to accommodate Alexander was the big reason to get a family sedan and now he isn’t here with us to share the car.

The car “show” was at The Plaza Hotel so we decided to have a drink at the Oak Bar.  I’ve never been to this landmark establishment but Dan visited years ago.  The bar is beautiful.  Our service started a little slow but we enjoyed a nice evening of cocktails and appetizers.  We even got a free dessert that was absolutely delicious!

It’s been a long and exhausting week.  Dan and I really appreciate all the support we’ve received during these very difficult last 4 months and especially today on Alexander’s birthday.