We lost our precious lil' love to AML Leukemia on March 8, 2010. As an incredibly strong family unit, we fought this horrid disease for 2 1/2 years........only for it to come back a fourth time to finally claim Hunter's life. Zen and I are truly devastated and the beautiful light that used to brighten our days and enhance our souls, no longer exists. Our hearts are truly and forever broken. We have a long journey ahead of us, but we are committed and devoted to surviving and living our life embracing Hunter's amazing spirit. With tremendous honor, we will carry on his legacy of love, his legacy of courage and his remarkable ambition to live strong, live fearlessly and live with passion.

You will remain forever in our hearts baby love. We carry you with us every moment of every hour of every day.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Surviving with a Broken Heart

I am sitting in my bed right now...........staring at a photo of Hunter across the room.....wondering what to do next with my day.

His face brings me such joy and peace - I hate that it's sometimes followed with such extreme sadness and sorrow. Will I ever see a photo of him and not feel so much pain and heartache? I honestly can't imagine that day ever existing. I just can't ever see myself NOT missing him as much as I do, and not feeling so completely robbed of the life he was supposed to have lived.

I often come back to the question....why did this happen to us? Why did our child have to die? And WHY did he have to die from such a brutal disease? Why did our child die in our arms. Why were we dealt such a horrible, horrible hand. Zen and I never thought that this is how our life would unfold. Not in a million years.

As far as the healing process - I feel as if we are doing ok. We are doing our best to heal in the healthiest way possible. We communicate well and never ignore or run from what we are having to deal with on a daily basis. We keep each other busy and have been trying to stay occupied with our other hobbies and interests. But somehow, no matter how busy we seem to be......Hunter is never far behind. He continues to consume our thoughts, he continues to fill our days, he continues to take over our hearts. And he's not even here.

The void that we are feeling is complete loneliness. Zen and I can be with each other all day long....but we are both aching for a sweet, little, tiny voice to just whisper our names....or ask for some juice or want us by his side. What a precious, gracious lil' love he was - I so badly want him back in our lives.

Zen and I definitely feel more sad emotions over angry ones. Anger just doesn't seem very productive or healing or comforting. There are 3 times that I can recall that I've allowed my anger to build up in my body, and it honestly felt like I was going to explode. All three times I've been in the car. It seems to be when I think of him the most and for the longest periods of time without distraction. Out of those 3 times, once, I screamed at the top of my lungs until my head felt as if it was going to just roll right off my body. The second time I wanted to punch the door so hard.....I feel as if I would have followed through, the power from my anger would have taken the whole door off. And the third time I wanted to shatter the window with my fist. But, I didn't. I was so upset and so hurt and so distraught. I am just in such disbelief that something so wonderful and so amazing is just gone..................gone.

I think of how innocent he was and how hard he tried and how little he complained. I think about the day we were leaving the hospital and him smiling so sweetly at me, not knowing that we were going home for him to die. I think about how this sweet precious lil' being never did anything wrong and he just loved and loved and loved until he couldn't love any more. I think about how happy he was and how much he enjoyed living and playing and watching Lightning Mcqueen. And I'm always brought down to my knees in tears and agony and just plain heart wrenching pain. Why did he have to have a disease that was so hard to cure? Why did he have to have the most aggressive form of Leukemia? Why why why why why why why............why MY lil' love?


There isn't an answer that will ever satisfy us or take away our grief or allow us to understand. There isn't an answer that we will ever accept or an answer that will even remotely ease our pain or take away our tears. There isn't an answer. There never will be an answer..........I guess that's what we are left having to accept.

Zen and I now refer to ourselves as "laughter seekers". We'll do anything for a chuckle. Whenever I am out and about and see something that makes me smile - I buy it. Whenever I hear a song that makes me feel good - I save it. And whenever I feel happiness or joy or peace - I embrace it......for as long as I'm allowed the opportunity to do so.

We are still very hopeful for a brighter tomorrow. We know that we have so much left to accomplish here on this earth, and we now have a little angel sitting on our shoulder reminding us to live for him, live for us, live for the other children we'll hopefully soon have in our lives.

Hunter was our everything. And now our everything has been taken away. We now have to rebuild from what seems like the bottom up. We are now completely different individuals. We are the ones at the party whose child just died. We are the ones that now have to think about every single conversation that we are having with people who aren't aware of our lives......wondering if they are going to pry just enough to bring up our past. We are the ones who people sometimes feel uncomfortable around because they don't know what to talk about or know how to approach a conversation that we will even care to discuss. We are "the ones"...

But, we are also the ones whose perspectives have now been enhanced to a whole new level of living and appreciation. We are the ones who will continue to cherish every last second we have with each other and those that we love so dearly. We are also the ones that have lived and loved and died and have been reborn.........with a new meaning, with a new purpose, with a new outlook on the true meaning of life. Our hearts are forever broken, but as usual, we are going to do our best to take it all in and run with it.......as fast and as carefree as we can.

This is the day we decided to leave the hospital
after Hunter's final relapse.
He died 3 weeks later.

Miss you so much baby love.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The WISE OWL.......

Nighttime in the desert.
A moon rising on our "PAIN"cation Journey.

Another ingredient that has placed a smile on my face this week. Not only did I have a pleasant dream about Hunter a day ago......but the Owl has also returned. He was extremely present the week before Hunter died and we would hear him at nighttime laying in our bed. The window would be open and Hunter would hear him and say, "mom! whooooo, whoooo". And we'd happily listen to him as we drifted off to sleep.

The Owl has been gone since Hunter died. He returned last night and his wonderful "whoooing" was very welcomed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sweet Dreams

Cloud formation on our "PAIN"cation Journey.

Hunter was finally in my dreams last night. Oh so nice to see his beautiful, smiling face.

Zen and I went to visit him and he was in a hospital-like setting, but no machines or doctors or nurses. And he had no tubes or anything else connected to him. He was free of all medical issues. He was sitting up on a bed, playing a game with a volunteer. I was so anxious to see him and rushed into the room as quick as I could, and ran over to him ready to embrace. I smooched him all over his entire body, starting with his tiny little precious toes and finished up on his bubbly little cheeks. He giggled and laughed and it was so nice to just lay there with him and hold him. He's just so tender and sweet. And his touch was so warm and welcoming. Wow....how I miss that. He's the most wonderful bundle I've ever snuggled with.

My sweet dream was such a relief from the nightmares I had shortly after Hunter passed. Whenever he was in my dreams before there were always tubes everywhere and we would be giving medicines constantly and he was always sick or dying. They were always so sad and left me in such a heartbroken state when I woke.

I did have one sweet dream of him that ended the nightmares while we were on our "PAIN"cation journey and that was the last I saw of him. That was almost 2 months ago.

When I woke today, I felt a sense of relief and there was a slight smile that graced my face. As I sat up and started remembering him, I felt overwhelmed with love and happiness and it was very pleasant. But then as I started to write out my experience, I felt the sadness settle in......I felt the reality come back....I felt the emptiness all over again. It made me terribly sad that my dreams are now the only place where I can spend time with him in these present moments. My son that I loved so dearly and so intensely can now only be found in my dreams..........

I am assuming my mind in moving through different stages accepting his death and coming to terms with it. I feel as if I know he's gone and it's extremely harsh to accept, but I always thought I would feel his presence more.......somewhere......whether it was my dreams or throughout my days.......or SOMETHING. We had such a deep connection and the bond was so strong - for that to just be completely gone, so suddenly, leaves me so empty and breathless. Lost without a lil' love.

Zen and I try to make up for it by smoochin' each other and holding and hugging and squeezing each other tightly......but it's just not the same as a child. But for now, we'll take all the smoochin' and holding we can get - whether it's with each other or in our dreams. All of this love needs to be given and released somewhere. We are honestly about to explode.

I don't think it's possible to "over love" a child - so when Ryder comes out in 11 weeks - he's going to be loved on all day and all night and every single chance we get. Completely smothered with all the love and goodness we have to give.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Ingredients to our "Life Dish"

Zen and I in Maui when a few months after we met. Already knew then that I wasn't ever letting go.........


first ingredient that came to mind was very tasty food. I have a huge appreciation for flavors, fresh herbs, and deliciousness. I am an amazing cook.......mostly because Zen said he wasn't going to cook - so someone had to - and also, spending as much time in the hospital as we did with hunter, all I ever had on in the background was the cooking channel. So I learned a TON. My cooking has been put on hold for the last few months just because I wanted to spend every last, possible moment with Hunter that I could, and cooking good food takes time. And I also just didn't have any desire or ambition to do anything in the kitchen once Hunter passed. So I started today with making my delicious Soy Chorizo Lasagna and ate a bunch for lunch. So yay......my kitchen desires are slowly coming back. And good food makes for a much happier home.

second ingredient that immediately surfaces is laughter. I really don't know what I would do without it. Zen and I laugh so much, whether it's at each other, at ourselves or at a comedy that we have on.........and we have several on hand. Seinfeld will always remain a favorite, but we also have a whole other list of favorites marked for rainy days. Zen and I crack each other up and it just seems to keep getting better. We know each other so well now. Living in the hospital with Hunter for the past 2 1/2 years was like living in a college dorm room. And not many couples could survive that - somehow, it just worked out for us and brought us closer. We both realize the importance of laughter and also both enjoy laughing. So we will continue to have it as a major ingredient in our every day life. It's as important as salt and pepper.

third ingredient would be tears. I am still feeling the overwhelming amounts of sadness from Hunter's departure. Usually when the tears start flowing he is heavy on my mind. For now, it's remaining a painful comfort. It seems to be when I feel his presence the most and enjoy acknowledging his life. I don't ever want to get to the point where I don't think about him. But I do know that better days are coming where so many moments won't bring me to such an unbearable heartache. But for now, I feel as if crying is necessary. And Zen and I definitely both do our fair share of crying........and are always there to help wipe each other's tears.

fourth ingredient would be love and understanding.....I think without those, it would be hard for Zen and I to get through our days. We are always extremely honest with each other and I always know that when I am crashing and burning.......he's there for me - without a doubt and without question. I think we have a huge benefit in this healing process in that we are grieving in similar ways. We don't hide our tears, they come when they come and we do our best to help each other through each and every moment. We have a full understanding by now of what to expect and what the next few years of our life are going to be like. We both miss Hunter so much.........he was an amazing child. He was our strongest life force. Every morning when he woke, Zen and I would race upstairs to greet him with love and smiles and that was how we loved to start our days. Seeing him. Hugging him. Bringing him where ever he wanted to go and oh so pleased to do so. We all loved each other, we all understood each other and we all survived better with one another there, as a constant comfort. We blanketed each other with love.

fifth ingredient would be a combination of determination, courage and perseverance. Hunter has changed our lives, he's adjusted our attitudes and he's given us more important reasons to live. We have such purpose now and it's coupled with such appreciation and gratitude. We truly feel fulfilled and blessed and fortunate. However, Hunter's death is not what we wanted and we are forever devastated, but we are so much stronger and our love is much more solid and what we have to offer is that much more amazing. Everything about us now is sprinkled with Hunter's love and sunshine and his brilliant spirit and smile. Now we just have to have the determination and courage and perseverance to go through this life without him no longer by our side. We must go on.......we need to go on.........and we will go on.

sixth ingredient is children. What a wonderful, wonderful blessing. Our lives were so completely enhanced with Hunter in them. He was what kept us going. We lived each day for him, for us and for the pure enjoyment of living life. We want a full family and are doing our best to create one. We are looking forward to the days of a noisy home, packing lunches, going to sporting events and hanging out at zoo's and beaches and zippin' down the slides. We cannot WAIT for those precious moments to fill our days, our hearts and our home.

seventh ingredient that comes to mind is Hunter. He is an essential part of the mix now, and without having experienced him, we wouldn't be as strong, we wouldn't be as appreciative and we wouldn't be as complete. He will always remain an important part of our life and he will always be present in our hearts. The intensity with which we love now will fill our bodies with an immeasurable amount of pleasure and delight. And we will carry it with us where ever we go. We have no idea what our future has in store for us, but we do know that our past has been exceptionally rewarding........in so many beautiful and encouraging ways.

So I know I can think of more ingredients.......but those that I have mentioned seem to be the "must haves" in our dish of life. I am going to mix them all up into one big pot and serve it up every single day that we are blessed enough to live this life.
Dig in, eat up and swallow it down with a smile.

Zen and I at Christmas, 2008

Zen smooching me in Mexico when he raced the Baja 500

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Heroes in Heaven

Vikki Jensen and her son Jake.

When I think about life and when I think about love, I feel as if our family and the Jensen family have experienced them to their fullest degree. Indescribable fear, tremendous loss, deep seeded sadness, excruciating heartache, gut wrenching agony, and undeserving defeat, along with courageous victories, unconditional and exceptionally powerful love, sweet embraces, lasting moments, and an extreme intensity and appreciation for life and all that it has to offer. I strongly believe that for the last 2 1/2 years, we have genuinely cherished every single moment we've had with our children, down to the very last seconds, and we took NOTHING for granted.....ever.

Vikki and her husband Steve with their beautiful daughter, Tori.

I attended Luke Jensen's Memorial Celebration this week and photographed it for the family and here are some really wonderful highlights. Hunter and Luke had their Bone Marrow Transplants the same week at Doernbecher Children's Hospital and we, along with the Jensen's, lived there on the 10th floor for months to encourage and support Luke's and Hunter's healing process. Luke was diagnosed with his fatal relapse the weekend Hunter died.

Luke's story can be followed on his Caring Bridge website.

Luke's Celebration was an amazing ceremony that was attended by hundreds of people who were there to love and support and embrace the Jensen's until they were full of love....full to the rim.....and in some instances - overflowing.

Click the play button for slideshow.

Children truly are our best teachers. The lessons we continue to learn from them as adults is staggering. They live so freely, they live so innocently and they live with an open mind that is ready to absorb everything and anything that is put in their tiny little hands. Then they take it and run with it.........

It was very apparent at Luke's Celebration that his life, like Hunter's, has taught many lessons and has brought a tremendous amount of love and good into this world. They've opened up people's hearts, they've enriched people's souls and they've brought beauty to this world amongst so much pain. They never gave up.....and I don't think it ever crossed their mind that they should give up......or give in. They didn't know any better. They didn't know any different. They did what every single person in this world should do - fight to the bitter end and regardless of the circumstances.....you keep standing strong. And you stand with confidence, you stand with an unbeatable spirit and you stand with all of your armor on......ready to face the next challenge, whether it's warranted or not. Luke and Hunter NEVER felt sorry for themselves. They were dealt a pretty fierce hand......they had to truly battle a beast. A beast that many people would surrender to.....but they fought it - and they did it valiantly. Both of their lives deserved a better ending. But if you have to leave this earth and move on to the next journey, they did it with such determination and with an amazingly, applaudable fight. They've left a true mark on this world - and we should all live our lives with the same degree of strength and intensity and true splendor........embrace every moment as if it was sincerely.....your last.

Not only did Luke and Hunter stand strong and stand with all of these amazing attributes, but they continued to live embracing life for all of it's riches. They lived as many days as they could with smiles, laughter, courage and an undying amount of affection and gratitude. For me and Zen and Vikki and Steve, the parents of these beautiful heroes, you can't imagine how much a mere smile on their face fulfilled our whole day and consumed our sadness and just took it away. Our boys kept US strong. They kept us brave. They kept us full of hope. And they kept us together. We stood strong with them, even in the darkest of times.......because of them. And that's all a parent could ask of a child.

Heaven now has 2 more heroes. Heroes that will continue to teach, heroes that will continue to shine, even in the most difficult of times, and heroes that will continue to push people to their limits. When you don't think you can take one more step.......you can......when you don't think you can last another minute......you will, and when your heart doesn't think it can take much more.......it will, surprisingly, keep beating.

Hunter Zen 2006 - 2010 Luke Jensen 2000 - 2010

Rest in blissful peace Luke and Hunter......you two have stolen so many hearts and have unfortunately broken them into tiny little pieces in your departures. You've left us all here behind to mend and to heal and to carry your beautiful spirits with us throughout our days, which we will do with honor. Eventually, once some of the sadness subsides, we will all be able to think of you and your love and your brave souls and it will place the most unbelievable smiles on our faces. You will brighten up our days, you will light up our hearts and you will set a beautiful fire to our souls. You are such wonderful little spirits and you are so terribly, terribly missed. You will forever be held high in the sky as the bravest of champions..........absolute, true heroes.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mixed Emotions

Woke up this morning at 6am with my mind and emotions all over the place. Seems to be the norm these days. Some mornings there are tears.....some mornings there are smiles. Haven't figured out what triggers what yet. Zen and I seem to be sleeping better these days, which is nice. We are catching up on some much needed sleep. And other then my loud, but cute, pregnancy snoring, which seems to hit me during my 6th to 9th month, we seem to sleep through the night. Zen's the only one that seems to wake up......I obviously remain sound asleep, sorry Zen....hee hee.

Mother's Day wasn't as horrific as I thought it was going to be. That morning I woke at 5am and just laid there for an hour. I felt the burst of tears building up in me and was desperately trying to not start my day off being a wreck. Zen asked if I wanted to lay with him and snuggle, and as much as I wanted to, I knew that would bring the river of tears that I was trying so hard to keep at bay. So I sat up and watched Seinfeld. Always brings me good laughs......thank god for comedy. It has distracted Zen and I on numerous occasions.

After about an hour of Seinfeld, I then chose to jump on my computer and start getting out all my Mother's Day postings. The first thing I felt the need to do was write a note to Hunter. I couldn't stop thinking about him and just wanted to send him some love.....

Hey sweetness......it's Mother's Day and you're on my mind like crazy. I'm looking forward to feeling your sweet presence with me all day. You're an amazing son and I couldn't imagine having lived my life without you. I am so incredibly proud of you. You're courageous spirit and your brilliant attitude will float me through my life with wonderful thoughts to constantly hold on to......I will never let them go. I have many precious and amazing memories to cherish and I am forever holding those in my heart.....along with your tiny little toes that used to rest in my lap every morning and every night. I love you deeply......and always will.....Mom

Hunter's letter back to me..

love you so much mom. i will always be by your side, cheering you on, as you did for me. miss your cuddles so much, but just know that i am always keeping you close to me. i will be that little bird whispering in your ear throughout your days keeping you strong and full of love. i know your love is everlasting and i will treasure it forever. huggin' and squeezin' you tight...xoxo your lil' bundle of love

After I wrote these, there was no stopping the tears. I'm just so heartbroken. Zen came up to check on me and he saw my face and asked what I was doing and what had I read that is making me cry......I said "oh nothing, just the usual.......missin' our lil' love". He came and laid next to me and read what I wrote and cried with me. And there we laid for long, sweet moments and remembered our darling little boy. The pain is definitely deep and when it surfaces.......it's unreal. The powerful wave of agony is crushing and leaves us in disbelief over our life.

We gathered up our tears after that minor episode and got up to start our day. I kept telling myself that it's just another day. Don't focus on the fact that it's Mother's Day........or it will keep bringing me down......and I didn't want my whole day to be a struggle. So I kept thinking.......it's just another Sunday.......it's just another Sunday.......it's just another day to get through and I will come out and finish it on a positive note. But then, all the Facebook messages started rolling in, and I'm very grateful for all of the sweet words and messages and love that was being sent my way......but it definitely was a harsh, but sweet reminder that I am now a mother without a child.

That's when I kept rubbin' my belly.......trying to focus on the child we are about to bring into this world that will soon embrace us and love us the way Hunter did. Another child to snuggle with and cherish and love with all of our hearts. We will let him know he had an amazing older brother who, along with us, will teach him how to be strong, how to be courageous and how to go through life giving it all you've got. We will let him know that we are here for him, always, and no matter what, we will never waver. We will keep him warm and keep him safe and treasure his little being for all of our life.

This is my belly at 6 months. Three more months to go....holy geez!! The shot with the flowers was taken up next to Doernbechers, Hunter's Hospital. We used to go hiking early in the morning during our stays with Hunter and this was one of my favorite places.

This shot was taken the day after Hunter's Memorial Celebration.
Somehow, still able to smile.........

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Empty Arms

These use to be the arms.......

that would hold you so fondly and squeeze you so tight.

They'd dance with you and tickle you and embrace you at night.

They'd comfort you and treasure you and keep you from fright.

They'd forever deeply love you, with all a mother's might.

..........and now these arms are empty. (Lenore Davis)

A slideshow of some of my favorites moments shared with Hunter. Our bond will never be broken and he'll deliver me smiles for the rest of my life. I sincerely loved him with all of my heart.

My love and devotion to Hunter leaves me breathless. My heart truly aches, my mind painfully throbs and my strength leaves me in despair. The hole in my heart and in my soul is so incredibly large, I feel as if sometimes my body just gives way and the hole just swallows me up for what seems like days.......days full of emptiness that never seem to end. I feel as if I would give anything to have him back in my arms.......

He was such a gentle soul. At such a young age, he could sweep me off my feet with sweet, sweet love and beautiful, brilliant smiles. He made me feel so needed and so loved. I could see in his eyes the comfort and peace I brought him. And it was always very much reciprocated.

There are many times I wish on a star,

and wish so desperately to be where you are.

My love for you lifts me high in the sky,

where I see your smile and your magnificent eyes.

My arms reach out and pull you near,

away from your sadness, away from your fear.

I will forever protect you deep in my heart,

for in my soul, we will never part.

I'm embraced by your love throughout all of my days,

but I have to be honest and wish that you'd stayed.

Stayed in my life and tucked in my arms,

I'm forever sad I couldn't keep you from harm.

I will remember your sweet face forever my love,

and turn it into happiness that shines down from above. (Lenore Davis)

Hunter brought out the very best in me. He made me realize what it was like to live......live with an overwhelming amount of love, live with an overabundance of gratitude and live with a forever appreciation of living life in the moment. We would have missed out on so many cherished memories if we hadn't lived this way. Zen asked if I would forego all of these tears and this deep seeded pain and agony to have not had Hunter in our life at all........and as soul-wrenching as it is......I'd keep our 3 1/2 years with Hunter and I will be forever grateful for the gift of his life. But I am finding it extremely hard to accept that Hunter had a different destiny. And I will always feel that his destiny should have been lived out with me. I wanted to travel through this life with him sweetly by my side. I wanted to see his precious face glancing up at me, and mine beaming down towards him. I wanted to teach him things and show him things and continue to share the bond that we created so intensely. He and Zen were my best friends. I was happiest and most carefree when I had them near, sharing laughter, exploring love and living fearlessly. Always throwing caution to the wind........and never looking back.

I am forever changed as an individual, as a mother and as a wife. Every single part of me has been sweetly enhanced with a tremendous amount of compassion, selflessness, and deep, loving emotions.....all due to our darling lil' love. He's truly now my gift of life and as his mother, I will continue to look to him for guidance of my heart, guidance of my soul and ways to express my everlasting love for my son who has sadly departed, my adoring husband, whom I love with all of my being, and my beautiful son who will soon enter this world and fill my arms with life, with love and with a meaning that we all understand..........

A mother's love.........there's nothing quite like it and nothing will ever compare.

Love and Devotion

What's working for us right now is the love and devotion that Zen and I have towards each others healing. Despite the overwhelming amounts of sadness that sneaks up on us and brings us to our knees in our puddles of tears, we are somehow able to comfort one another and save each other from drowning. Sometimes he rescues me, sometimes I rescue him, and sometimes we just swim around in our tears with our eyes closed tight, wishing desperately that when we open them, Hunter will be standing there in front of us, smiling and giggling, letting us know that he's home to stay.

But he's not there. He's never going to be there again, standing in front of us, smiling and giggling.........and that's what's NOT working for us. We're devastated. We're sad, we're angry, we're hurt and overall.........we are just not happy with the way that Hunter's life ended. And our life used to be nothing BUT happiness. And all of a sudden, it's taking a whole lot of effort to just find some genuine smiles within our days that last longer than a few seconds. There is a looming cloud of sadness that hangs over our souls and it's ever so present and so not enjoyable. Zen and I still share a good bit of laughter together, but that laughter is always chased by our reality...........and our reality right now is every parents worst nightmare.

This was our wedding day. One of the last happiest days of our lives. Zen and I had already been together for 5 years when we gave birth to Hunter. He proposed in December of 2005 and we got pregnant in January of 2006. Hunter was born Sept. 21st that same year. We got married a year later and Hunter fell sick within a month. Our lives would soon be forever changed.......

To LIE or NOT to LIE

....So being pregnant and having just lost our first child less than 2 months ago, seems to be a pretty sucky combination.

No matter where we are, or who we come across, if we choose to go out in public - someone always crosses our path that wants to talk "baby talk".I feel as if I can't really hold anything against them - pregnancy and the whole birthing process is a pretty amazing thing.People want to share their insight, their own experiences, their stories, their own families or they are just plain nosy or feel the need to strike up a conversation.Well, so many of them don't particular have the stomach for our answer to the famous 2 questions.........it usually starts with, "When's the baby due"? and then it's ALWAYS followed by, "First time you've been pregnant"? or "Any other children"?

Last night while out at dinner, my husband Zen whispered in my ear, "well, well.......you're becoming a pretty good liar".And I quickly corrected him and said, "I'm not lying.......I am just not telling the whole truth.We are at dinner and I don't want to talk about it, I don'tfeel like talking about it and I don't want to think about it right now".He held and squeezed my hand and nicely agreed.What he was referring to was the conversation that was happening with another lovely couple at the restaurant.Of course when we were seated at our table, this particular couple next to us had two little ones with them, 19 months and three.So the lady quickly notices my belly and jumps right in and says "first child"? and my response was a kind and smiley "No".Then she followed by saying, "Well usually where there's one there's the other........if you are carting around two of them"! Then she kinda giggled and stared at her own two children playfully hanging around the table and making little messes while eating a bite or two.I just smiled back and didn't say a word.Then she continued with "How old is the other child", I responded, "Three 1/2",then she asked if we knew the sex of the baby in my belly and I said, "yes.....it's a boy", then she asked what we currently have, and I didn't lie, I just turned her have into had and answered the question,"Boy".This is where Zen was wondering if I was going to spill the beans and ruin their dinner & break their hearts or if I was just going to continue to talk as if Hunter were still alive.

I chose to NOT spill the beans.

No one wants to hear that your first child, who was only 3 1/2 years old, just died from cancer.There's no comeback for that answer.I think initially, most people just want to turn and run off.But they can't.So first, the look of horror crosses their face, they are shocked or completely stunned and totally caught of guard. And then second, we see them desperately struggling with what to say next.What is the appropriate response to a very light hearted conversation that just turned to death?Let alone the death of a child.What on earth can people possibly say?Over the last two months we've heard so many "I'm sorry's" and "My condolences to you", and "God blesses", they kinda just go in one ear now and out the other.We know that there is nothing to say.The truth is, it's horrible.It's the worst thing that can ever happen to a mother or father.It's a shitty situation.It's heartbreaking.It's something that most people would NEVER want to face.Do we really want them to say what they are really thinking?That they are forever fortunate that what's happened to us did not happen to them?That they are so glad to not be in our shoes right now dealing with what we have to deal with?We don't quite know anymore what the right response is.............

And so, here we are.......facing the most terrible and soul crushing experience of our lives and having to go on with our days, putting one foot in front of the other, trying to reach the healing ground.The ground feels pretty unstable on most days and sometimes it's all mucked up and we get stuck in the mud, and collapse, and have to willfully dig our way out.Somedays we dig pretty hard, others aren't so glorious and we just sit in it for a little while - acknowledging our pain, consuming our sorrow and feeling the hurt.Somehow.....in the end......we always seem to surface.Stronger from the dig. Stronger from the weight of healing and stronger from facing the truth.

Hunter was an amazing child and I will never NOT acknowledge him as our first child.I will never lie and say - "yup, it's our first", in order to avoid the terrible conversation that's about to happen.I will however, not expand and just let it go..........especially to complete strangers.Somedays I can barely put two thoughts together to make any sense........so the last thing I need is for a stranger to bring me back down into the depths of our own personal darkness.I'll go there when I see fit.

Everything truly will be wonderful again................someday.