Brighter days.

I'm a little floored by how many people have read my blog since the loss. Yeah, I post updates on FB and update my link on The Bump and The Nest, but I never fully expect people to be that interested in my story to want to read it. The amount of pageviews I've had the last few weeks is cool. Thanks for reading folks.

I feel like I turned a corner after I passed my due date. I woke up yesterday feeling refreshed and not completely overcome with grief. It's like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, that I got through my entire pregnancy relatively unscathed, even if I didn't have Devon in my arms. I felt like it was OK to listen to music in my car and bounce around [my song of choice yesterday was Let Me Clear My Throat  by DJ Kool - i rocked the hell out of that song while driving around town]. I felt like it was OK to go outside and enjoy the fresh air. I felt like I was finally re-focusing on JJ after being in and out with him the last five weeks. I felt like it was OK to start thinking about work again; I even have the outfit picked out that I'm going to wear on my first day back next week. My heart still hurts, but mentally and physically, I felt better today than I have since this whole process started.

I guess it's about time I get used to the notion of going back to work again. Don't get me wrong - I freaking love my job. I love my coworkers and my students. But after being out for almost six weeks, it'll be hard to get back into the swing of things. I've spent most of this time with my mom because I haven't wanted to be alone in Stillwater, but now that work is just around the corner, I'm accepting that it's time to get back to life and my new normal. I've been answering work emails, setting up calendars to start advising, meal planning, and adjusting myself mentally to get ready to go back. I'm so afraid that when I do go back, I'll just break down and not be as far along in my recovery as I thought I was. I will note that I have awesome friends up there that are willing to do anything to make me feel comfortable again, and I'm grateful for that. I'm normally a very independent person, but this time, I don't think independence is the best thing for me.

I'm also ridiculously focused on getting back into shape. I've pretty much shed the baby weight, but I want to get tone and trim again. I have a pair of running shoes in Stillwater calling my name, and I'll either start running during my lunch break or after work. I'm so glad it's fall; the cooler weather will allow me to hit Boomer Lake if I want [although the mosquitoes and threat of west nile virus will probably keep me inside]. I still plan on trying to run a 5K in April, so I gotta get in shape.

So all in all, brighter days are coming. And brighter days are ahead. I look forward to sharing those brighter days with the world after being in my darkest.


Two words: due date.

Today's the day I started counting down to on January 11, the day I got my first positive pregnancy test.

Today's my due date.

I had this date circled on calendars and engrained in my brain since that day. Even after losing Devon, the date stuck. Even though I erased it from those calendars [and even replaced one of my calendars that held all my OB appointments in it with a new one], it's still permanently etched into my mind. Maybe one day, I won't remember this exact date but will remember that Devon should've been born at the end of September - but I doubt it. I'm sure this day will stick with me for eternity.

The logical part of me knows that today is just an estimated date. JJ was born two days before his due date due to an induction, and that very well could've happened this time since my blood pressure had already started to spike when I found out Devon was gone at 34w4d. So I know that he could've been here already, been at home with all of us, been keeping me up with late night feedings and cuddles. But instead, I've five weeks out from coming home without him. And the emotional side of me knows this day means a lot more to me than I've admitted since I lost him, and this day reopens all the wounds I've been trying to stitch shut.

I've been dreading this day since I came home from the hospital, but I knew I couldn't just forget this day, a day that had been so significant in my life for almost the entire year. Now that it's here, I'm just a little numb. Today was supposed to be my first day of maternity leave, not the fifth of six weeks of medical leave [i refuse to call it maternity leave, even though it technically is since i had a baby]. A week from today was supposed to be Devon's newborn shoot, not my first day back at work. I've tried so hard not to dwell on these days and the "what should've been" because it won't change what's happened...but on a day like today, I'm sure I will think back on everything and think about what should've been.

Today, I give myself a pass to be as emotional as I want. I try to hide my emotions because I just don't want people either getting tired of me crying every day [today makes 38 straight days of tears, in case anyone was genuinely curious] or overly comforting me. After five weeks, I feel like I should be more put together than I am over this whole situation, but I've been constantly told that I'm rushing the healing, that I need to let myself grieve as long as I need. So right now, I'm grieving by digging into a chocolate chocolate chip bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes and watching SportsCenter - two of my favorite things. I'm sure there will be lots of tears, lots of unspoken questions, and lots of quiet moments for me today...but mostly, I'll try to remember Devon and cherish the 34 weeks that I did have with him. I have his pictures, his cremation box, and the memories to get me through.

All I want Devon to know is that I love him way more than he'll ever know. That one day, I'll see him again - but until then, I find comfort in that he will always be my little angel, watching over me and keeping me safe. That I wish things had been different, but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, so I try not to be sad all the time. I know he's in a better place, and I just hope he knows that I love him so much, it hurts. It will always hurt.


Thanks. Lots of thanks.

When I was in the hospital waiting to get induced, a chaplain came by my room. He offered prayers, words of comfort and scripture, all of which helped me through those first few hours after we found out Devon was gone. Before he left, he told me that when I had a quiet moment, I needed to write down all the people I was thankful for and keep that list on me. Then, when the tough days rolled around, I would have that list to remind me of all the people in my life that have been there and helped me, and remember that they love and care about me.

After Devon was delivered and things quieted down, I started that list. Now that it's been five weeks since we lost him, I thought it was about time to thank those people in public [in no particular order]:

-- My sister. She was there for just about everything that happened and was such a source of strength for me as I went through the most difficult moments of my life. I am forever grateful that she's my sister.

-- My parents. They're amazing anyway, but they've also been here for me as I've gone through all this. My dad flew home as fast as he could; my mom's kept me busy while I've been on medical leave. Both have let me laugh, cry and veg in front of their new TV. I'm so thankful for them.

-- My husband. I know this wasn't easy for him either, but he's been there for me - especially during the first few days after we lost Devon. I hate that the first time I saw him since January 2nd was to say good-bye to out baby boy, but his presence and reassuring words were so helpful. Still are.

-- The MCU staff at Reynolds Army Community Hospital. They were so great, so kind, so patient as I went through everything. They all took such great care of me and were so compassionate. I couldn't have asked for better people to help me through the hardest time of my life.

-- My family doctor. He was also my OB and took really good care of me - always saw me when I had an issue and has been great as I've dealt with Devon's loss. I hope he's still here when we decide to try again.

-- My Pizazz girls. Almost four years ago, I met a group of girls through The Knot who were all getting married in March 2009. A small group stuck around and have become who I consider to be good friends, and they have been incredible. I will never be able to thank them enough for what they've done to support me.

-- My best friend. She and I have been friends for many years, and I call her my sage. She always knows what to say, when to say it, and is always there for me. I cherish our friendship and am so glad we're still close after all these years. She's been a source of comfort for me, even though she should be taking care of herself - she's having my godson in December, whose first name is Devon's middle name. :)

-- Our extended family. My family and Joe's family have been incredible through all this. From coming to the memorial to sending cards, flowers, words of comfort...they have been absolutely awesome.

-- My coworkers. I love my office because they're just so cool. They sent flowers and cards, have checked on me constantly and have been uber supportive. They will help making going back to work in a week easier, and I can honestly say I work in one of the best offices ever.

-- My friends. For those who have sent messages, said something on FB, posted on my blog, texted or called me, prayed for me...all of that has meant the world to me. It's great to know so many people care and has helped me through this.

The last five weeks have been full of ups and downs, highs and lows, tears and laughs. I'm starting to accept that life won't ever be the same and that Devon is gone, which is forcing me to start picking up the pieces of my broken heart and slowly move on. But with the help of these people, I'm in a better place and have been able to start to move forward. I'll never be able to thank them enough.


What a difference a month makes.

Yesterday made a month since Devon was born sleeping. How in the world has the last month passed so quickly and so slowly, all at once?

I still have my good moments and my bad moments. The good moments are starting to outweigh the bad, but the bad moments can be really bad - like, uncontrollable crying for a good half hour type of bad. The unstoppable ache in my chest is still there, but it's not all-consuming like it used to be. The days are definitely getting better; I'm in a much better spot now than I was when everything started last month. Progress is good, even if it feels like progress is slow right now. Of course, I'm in a better spot now than I was a month ago, but I still feel like the weakest person on the planet because I still have very, very hard days.

I know that I need to start putting my life back together and moving on, but every time I do, I feel guilty. I'm afraid that I'll forget about Devon [even though i know i won't], that a day won't go by that I won't think about him [doubt it], that he'll become a shadow of the past [i'm going to make sure he doesn't]. It feels so weird that my due date is in four days and I'm not overwhelmed like I thought I would be. Maybe because it's been more than four weeks and I've had time to adjust to everything? To accept that I will always have two sons, but one will just be my angel?

I'm such a jumbled ball of emotions right now that it's hard to be on even ground emotionally. I feel like I'm ready to get back on with my life, but a part of me is still stuck in that hospital room finding out that Devon was gone. I go back to work in less than two weeks and feel physically ready for that, but I'm afraid I'll just take fifty steps back emotionally when I walk through the doors of my office and really have to move on with my life. It's just so weird, the place that I'm in right now.

I had my postpartum appointment a few days ago, and everything looks good. That appointment was just one more check mark on the list of my "important days" - the ones that mean a lot and will make me emotional. This past week had three of those: the one month mark when I found out Devon was gone; my postpartum appointment; and Devon's one month angelversary. I made it through all three relatively unscathed, but to say I didn't break down on any of those days is just not true. The last major one I have is my due date - I don't even want to think about it, because I'm giving myself a free emotional pass on that day. After that, I have a week to prepare to get back to work, then life will be as "normal" as it was before all this happened. But "normal" won't be the normal I knew, that's for sure.

I'm trying very hard not to put a timeline on my grief. I'm such a structured, organized person [most times, at least] that to just be flying by the seat of my pants right now is so not like me. I know that if I tell myself, "OK, today is the day that you won't cry like you have been for the past 34 days," that's just not fair. I can't shut out what's happened, and I can't shut out the feelings that I have. It'll just make things worse, and I'm sure it'll set me back. I usually have such control over my life, but this is the first time ever that I've just let that control go.

I'm sure this blog post makes no sense and is just a random rambling of thoughts. But that's how things are right now - I just ramble until I can't ramble anymore. For those of you who have read my posts, thanks for putting up with the rambling. It's just another show of support from those who care about me that I really, really appreciate.


Almost a month...

It's been 29 days since I found out Devon was gone; 27 since he came into the world sleeping. I've had my pretty good days [you know, the days I laugh more than cry and live in the now instead of dwelling on the past] and my awful days [like yesterday, when i cried throughout most of the day for various reasons]. The days since the loss are now starting to tick into months, and I'm still heartbroken. Still at a loss as to how to feel, how to get through the day without crying [multiple times, usually]. The days are slowly starting to become better, but I have major milestones coming up that I have to get through before I feel I can truly start to heal. Some days, everything just seems fine, that I can do this. Other days, I just want to shut the world out and cry until I can't cry anymore. I know this is all a part of grieving, but it's just so hard.

I can't believe it's been nearly a month since everything happened. So much has changed within me but stayed the same on the outside. Life seems to have gone back to normal for the rest of the world, but I'm still stuck on the fact that I have an angel baby. That my precious angel would have been due in nine days; instead, he's been gone for 29. While my days are truly starting to get better [for the most part], it's still a struggle. I just want to make it through the next two weeks and try to find a sense of normal before I head back to work; if I can do that, I think I'll be able to push through.

I can admit that I'm very nervous about being back in Stillwater all on my own again, like I was during and before my pregnancy. Once that happens on a daily basis, it'll become more real that life has to continue, even with all this going on. That I have to continue to move forward, even if my heart and soul are still healing. I hate that I have to move forward without Devon, but I just have to.

However, I know I'm not moving on alone. I'm so, so grateful for the support I've continued to get through all of this. I have some very close friends who have constantly texted to check on me, and I've continued to get cards from family and friends. It's amazing how many people have reached out to me in one way or another to let me know they're still thinking about me, even though it's been nearly a month. I wish I could see every single person that's helped me through this and give them a hug, but I can't right now. I just hope they all realize how much they've helped, how much they mean to me for keeping me in their thoughts and prayers as I've pushed on through the grief and the pain. Thank you.


My happy list.

The past couple of days have been OK. I'm still very emotional, but I'm starting to feel OK again. I went by my job yesterday and saw some very good friends [all while shedding minimal tears], and I'm back in Stillwater doing some things. Being back in town isn't as bad this time as it was last time - for a few days, I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to come back here. Things are starting to feel back to normal though [well, as normal as normal can be].

Some things have brought me joy the last few days:

1. Shopping. I'm back in most of my old clothes at this point [which is crazy considering I'm three weeks out from delivery], but I still have some pudge I hope to work off once my OB clears me for exercise. So I took this opportunity to spend some money and shop. I've gotten four new dresses, including this number from Target:

And this super cute skirt from Ann Taylor [i've done some damage at that store this month, that's for sure]:

It's nice to have cute new clothes to wear to work. Now, I'll just have to bring myself to keep shaving my legs so I can wear skirts and dresses...

2. Gangnam Style. I am in loooooove with PSY and his "Gangnam Style" video/dance. I've seriously been doing the dance around my apartment the last 24 hours.

3. My sweet boy. JJ and I have spent quite a bit of time together since I've been out of work, and it's been nice to have this time. He has so much energy and is so lively, and he does so many random things that makes me laugh. JJ keeps me going when I just want to curl up in bed and shut the world out; I am so, so grateful for him.

4. Wine. So, while I was pregnant, I bought a bottle of Cupcake Moscato to open after I came home with Devon. Even though he did not come home with me, I still opened the bottle and [i'm a big enough of a girl to admit this] cried through a couple of glasses. The wine was fantastic, though - even J thought it was good, and he's not a big wine drinker. I also discovered Rosso Dolce, a roscato, at Olive Garden last time I went. DELISH.

5. Sports. Football is finally back - and I'm still excited that it's back, even with everything that's happened. I'm in two fantasy leagues and somehow managed to win both games this past weekend. College football is still a little iffy for me - I'm not even sure if I'm going to any OSU games this year because I just don't feel up to it - but I've watched some good games. I watched a lot of the US Open [go serena williams!] and have caught some soccer matches, too. Even though the Olympics is over, I've still caught my fair share of sports. I'm just glad football's back.

Those are just some of the things that have made me happy. It's still hard to be happy all the time, and I still have my moments where I feel like nothing will make me feel happy again. But these things have definitely helped, especially JJ. I don't know where I would be without him. 


Random update of sorts.

Even with our loss, life has gone on. A lot's happened in the past few months with our family:

1. JJ started gymnastics! My mom signed him up for July/August classes at the Bart Connor Gymnastics Academy to see if that could help him burn some energy [since swimming lessons did.not.work.at.all]. He wound up loving it, and he's started up fall classes; I'm hoping he can take classes in Stillwater as well during the week.
All great gymnasts have to start somewhere...like crawling under balance beams.
2. I got a new car! My Taurus did me good for almost six years, but it was time to upgrade. However, I haaaaaaate car shopping; I've been putting it off for months, but when my dad came home on R&R, he made me go look. I am forever grateful for that, though, because I wound up with this beauty:

Meet Arthur. Hi Arthur.
2013 Hyundai Sonata. I call it my sexy mom car, because that is one sexy car - and like, a million steps up from my beloved [but had serious issues in the end] Taurus. I named him Arthur, after Arthur Weasley - you know, Ron Weasley's dad who was super obsessed with Muggles and all their stuff? He loved cars [remember the Ford Anglia he enchanted to fly and be invisible?], and I just randomly thought of him as I was thinking of a name for my new car. I know Arthur isn't a sexy name, but oh well.

3. J got a new car, too! I mentioned in one post that he had gotten in a car accident, and his car was totaled [but he was OK besides some bumps and bruises, thank goodness]. While he was home, my mom took us to CarMax to look, and he found one he liked. He wasn't really game on another Nissan, but this one was love at first sight, I think

This car has no name yet. J won't let me name it. But I secretly call it Carmen.
2004 Nissan Maxima. Low mileage, loaded on the inside, and J loves it. Just needs a tint and maybe some paintwork, but for being an '04, it's in great shape. While I'm sure he misses his '02 Altima, I think this '04 has been a great replacement. My one qualm: it has leather interior. After dealing with the leather in my Taurus, I never want leather again.

Those are the three big things that have happened. My dad also came home for two weeks at the end of July/beginning of August, and we took another trip to Great Wolf. That trip is a little painful for me to remember since I was pregnant, but it was still a really fun trip. That was our third trip to Great Wolf in less than a year, and a fourth is in the works. We absolutely love that place [and all the shopping that comes along with the trip since it's in Grapevine].

Now that the days are changing from summer to fall -- well, more like from hot as Hades to normal summer temperatures -- there are more things to look forward to. The holidays are fast approaching, and I need to figure out what I'll dress JJ as for the fall carnivals we have in town [not sure he'll go trick-or-treating]. I need to make lists for Christmas presents, plan for holiday travel and get prepared for a new year. I'm considering starting on my master's, which means studying for the GRE. And once I go back to work after being off for six weeks, I know I'm going to be swamped. I look forward to it though; fall is my favorite time of the year, and I can't wait to snuggle in sweaters and wear boots. Well, I'm hoping to snuggle in sweaters and wear boots; I barely did any of those last year because we didn't really get a fall or winter. Lame.


I also want to decorate my apartment. Between my trips to IKEA [i could seriously go broke in that store] and Target, I have random ideas to spruce up my home of the last four years. That poor place is so dull, but I plan on changing that. I bought some things at IKEA [helloooo new dishes, glassware and drawer set for JJ] and Target [helloooooo new entryway storage, bathroom items and possible curtains], and I have plans for new bedroom furniture and TV storage. It's time to make my place look like something that's barely lived in into a home.

So there ya have it - proof that I have had, and still have, a life. Even though my world has been turned upside down, life goes on, and life has happy moments. I want to continue to have those happy moments, even in such sadness. I think Devon would want that, too.

One step at a time.

I've always been one to try and plan things out years in advance. Granted, about 98 percent of the things I've planned out haven't happened that way. Examples:

-- thought I was going to OU for most of my high school career; wound up going to OSU [for me, one of the best decisions ever; those who know me know how much I love my alma mater]

-- thought I would be a doctor or a nurse; wound up majoring in public relations and barely use my degree

-- thought I would get my master's, travel the world and not settle down until I was 30; married and a mom by 22 [almost 23]

And, even though I love the life that I have and where it has taken me, I plan things to have control. I'm kind of a control freak and an organizer; when things don't go a certain way, it throws my world off balance. And this...losing Devon...has been the most upside down thing that could ever happen to my world. Ever.

I had plans for him. Plans to raise my boys together. I wanted him to be an astronaut, or a teacher, or an artist. I wanted him to play sports, hang out and adore his big brother, complain when he had to wear his brother's hand-me-downs. J and I were on the fence about having more than two children, so Devon could have been it for us, and I was fine with that. Mentally, I had planned for this to be my last pregnancy, to embrace it. But then, three weeks ago, all of this was ripped away from me. And it turned my whole damn world upside down in ways I had not ever, ever planned to handle.

How do you move on from something like this? How do you recover from losing a child, a child you had so many hopes and dreams for? I try so hard to keep a smile on my face, but on the inside, my heart is broken. And as the milestones tick past - his memorial, the day we received his ashes, my baby shower [which was supposed to be yesterday] - my heart breaks all over again.

I have more milestones to get through - going back to Stillwater on my own, seeing my home OB to get some answers, my due date, going back to work - and I'm trying to plan and brace myself for those moments. But in reality, I know I can't plan for them. I just have to take it one step at a time. I feel lost right now because I'm not used to slowing down and going inch by inch through my day, minute by minute, hour by hour. But right now, until the pain starts to dull just a little bit, I have to take it one step at a time. Doing that will help me heal. Doing that will take the edge off the pain, even though it won't fully go away.

One step at a time.


The memories.

The hardest part of all of this is dealing with the memories.

I just went back through all of my blog posts and edited or removed pictures. I seriously considered deleting the posts on my pregnancy, but that would mean I was wiping Devon off the map - and Devon was very much real, very much alive, even if he was born sleeping. I did, however, wipe out all the baby pictures from my Photobucket account, so I removed those pictures from the posts. I also removed all the pictures from my phone and put them in a special folder on my laptop. I still want them, but I don't want to face them every single day.

My sister was kind enough to go to my apartment while I was in my hometown and put up all the baby clothes, blankets and sheets. I hadn't set up an actual nursery for Devon, which I am actually grateful for - I didn't have to break all that down and empty out a room he will never be in. When I went back to my place, I put my maternity clothes in the spare room, too, and moved all my fall/winter clothes into my room where the maternity clothes were. Being back at my place was so hard for the first day. The last time I'd been there, I was pregnant and enjoying feeling him move around. I had washed all his clothes, organized his drawer, started packing his baby bag. Now, that won't happen. I try so hard not to be bitter, but a part of me is bitter. That same part constantly asks, "Why me? What did I do wrong? Why, why, why me?"

My baby shower was supposed to be tomorrow. My due date is two weeks from Monday. I had so many hopes and dreams for Devon, so much to look forward to with two boys in my life. I spent so many days, nights, dreaming of what their lives would be like together. Instead, there will be one day when I open the memory box and explain to JJ [and, God willing, any other kids we have] how he had a little brother, but he was too perfect for Earth. That conversation will possibly be the hardest one I make in my entire life, but I do look forward to sharing Devon with them.

The memories hurt. They make my heart, my soul, my entire body ache. But the memories also put a smile on my face. I remember it all - the pregnancy test, telling J and my family, the first ultrasound, breaking the news to friends and family, feeling him move for the first time, the doctor's appointments, the weight gain, the heartburn, everything. Those positive memories will help me remember Devon in a positive light, even with everything that has happened. I miss him so much, it aches. I want him so bad, it aches. But one day - one day - the memories, the good and bad, will be easier to handle.


New normal.

I feel like the last 2.5 weeks have been the slowest - and fastest - weeks of my life. Now that things are returning to "normal," it's time to face reality and get back into the world.

J left for his base in CO on Sunday - he drove back his new car [well, new to us; technically a used car], so he hit the road fairly early to make the 8-hour drive back by himself. I hated to watch him drive away; after having him home for 15 days, saying good bye was so hard. I'm just grateful I still have him in one piece though; one thing I did not mention in my last post was that the day everything happened with me losing Devon, J had gotten into a car accident and totaled his car. He was fine, the driver who hit him was fine, but that had happened just hours before my ER visit. To say that day sucked is an absolute understatement.

But anyway.

Now that it's just me and JJ at my mom's house [and my mom's back at work], things are slowly starting to go back to the way they were before everything happened. Physically, I'm OK with this. I feel great, I've healed fantastic, and I hope to be cleared for physical activity when I see my OB and the OB who delivered Devon within the next couple of weeks. Emotionally though, I'm still a mess - and I know that I will be for awhile. I've had a strong bond to my faith as this has gone on and am one of those that believes that God laid out his plan for each of us before we were born, and I just have to accept that God's plan for Devon was to make him one of his angels. That doesn't make my heart heal any faster though, and reality is quickly coming down the pipeline. Soon, I'll be back at work, where I'm sure the healing process will start all over again as I have to either break the news to people who are wondering why I'm there with no baby bump and no baby, or I have to face the sad looks and the "I'm so sorry for your loss" all over again. I feel like such a bitch for not wanting those looks or words of sympathy, because both mean that people care about me and what happened. I just...I don't want to face them all over again. I've faced them enough over the last two weeks.

More sympathy cards came in today. They make me cry when I read them, but I very much appreciate them and the words of comfort they bring me. I also got this today; I ordered it from an Etsy seller the day of Devon's memorial:
Beautiful, isn't it? I cried when I opened the package; I absolutely love it. The footprints aren't his own, but I do plan on ordering a special necklace that will feature his actual footprint.

I also got this necklace from my best friend/Devon's godmother [who has been such an amazing source of strength for me through all of this]:
I plan on wearing both beautiful necklaces all the time to remember my sweet angel baby. They'll be constant reminders that he was here, he was real, he'll always be my son, and I'll always love him. As my best friend said, a Devon-shaped piece of my heart will forever be missing; but that doesn't mean I'll love him less.

I never thought I'd be in this position. I know people always say this when it happens to them, but it's so damn true. I never, ever thought I would lose a child. That I would have to go to a funeral home and plan a memorial service for my baby. It's so surreal, everything that's happened the last 2.5 weeks. It feels like a lifetime ago, and I feel so much older than my 26 years. I just want the hurt and the pain to go away, but I know I can't rush healing. I'll never fully be healed, but I'll try.

So now, I try to find my new normal. I plan on taking on some sort of exercise classes, like kickboxing or something like that. I want to try my hand at more recipes, bake more, get JJ's scrapbooks started. I'll have some time to do all that before I go back to work, so I'll try to get some of those started. Mostly, though, I just want to hang out and relax. I am so emotionally drained all the time that I really only get peace in sleep - but sleep is hard to come by because my brain's always turning. The minutes, the hours, the days are getting easier, but it still hurts. The pain is still raw, still real. But as long as I remember and love Devon, my new normal will soon become easier to handle. Just one minute at a time.