Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Sweet Little Half Hearted Angel

It is a very surreal feeling being in this hospital today.  This past week I have watched so many tear soaked eyes pass by me.  My heart has been filled with so much compassion for the little ones confined by these walls.  This pain is so near and dear to my family.  

It was exactly 37 years ago today that my parents walked these halls with pain in their hearts.  My little sister was almost the exact same age has Cohen when she came in these doors but never left.   I can't even imagine the strength that it took my parents to get on these elevators and walk into a crowd of people that knew nothing of their pain.  What it must have felt like to retrace the footprints that they had made with hope in their hearts,  now replaced with the deepest sorrow imaginable.

  No family should ever have to say good-bye to a sweet child. 

Dear Sweet Sister,

For so many years I didn't mention your name simply because of the complex conversation that it would bring upon me. When I was asked the dreaded question, "how many siblings do you have?"  I would simply reply, three... oh how untrue!  

How could I deny you like that....Why was it easier for me to just pretend you didn't exist?  You were real, you were loved, you are missed and you are and will forever be my sister!  I am sorry for the selfish way that I have avoided talking about you for fear of the uncomfortable conversation that it would bring.  

Now, as a mother I truly realize that it is so much more important to remember you and the beautiful gift that you were.  I will never understand why you had to leave us so soon or the pain that your leaving left behind, but what I do know is that while you were here you blessed us all.  For some reason you came to us with only half a heart but the love that poured out of you filled our hearts to the fullest, sustaining us util we are together again.  No longer will I worry about making others feel uncomfortable with your story.
  You will never again be my sweet little secret half hearted angel, for I will proudly tell the world about my sister with wings.

My life has been filled with so many moments that I wish we could have shared and although I have dreamt of you being there, I hold on to the hope that you shared them with me through the windows of heaven.  

So today as your sweet little nephew and I walk these halls we will celebrate you, forever remembering your beautiful little life. 

 Happy Going Home Birthday little sister, we miss you so much and can't wait for the day that we are reunited in heaven.

Theresa Marie Aluise

Your life is a reminder that strength comes in small packages and that life is too short to worry ourselves with insignificant details.  I will hug each of my little ones tonight because I can't hug you 
but I will look forward to the day I can.
I love you my sweet little half hearted angel!

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Greatest Most Difficult Day of My Life!

Nine years ago on the 28th day of August my life changed forever!
I lost every self centered desire that had been tucked away inside of me and for the first time in my life I experienced real pain... a pain like I had never known.  This hurt didn't come from the 15 hours of relentless labor, it came later after the dust of childbirth had settled.  This beautiful day took an unexpected turn, one that we hadn't seen coming and could never had prepared ourselves for.

My husband hadn't left my side for the entire 15 hours, he didn't even leave to eat or rest.  I worked hard physically to get this little bundle of joy into the world and when he arrived I couldn't have been more in love with him.  He was perfect and he was part of us!  I knew that I would love him but I couldn't have imagined that it would be this deep of an emotion, it was as if my pain receptors had left my body and now existed in this tiny little baby.  I could handle anything when it was done to me but if my sweet little one had to suffer, then the pain seemed unbearable..

My brother-in-law sat by my side while my husband left to shower and get food.  It was in those next  moments that I came to understand true fear for the first time in my life.
I waited for the nurse to bring me my sweet baby boy back from the nursery, but instead she returned by herself.  I will never forget the way she gently sat down beside my bed and put her hand on my arm.
It seemed as if the words came out of her mouth in slow motion, it took a few moments for me to put them back together in mind.

   "I won't be able to bring you your baby to you... there is a problem.  His heart rate is very low and we need to keep him on monitors."  The next thing I remember was Jason's comforting hand on my shoulder and him asking me if I was O.K.  He seemed to understand the words before I did and as I looked into his eyes I realized the severity of what she was saying.  

God had already set into motion loving support for us even before the nurse had entered our room.  A dear friend of ours felt the need to get up and leave in the middle of evening church service to come and see us at the hospital.  She was not only a very dear friend but she had worked several years in the NICU at Women and Children's.  While my head was still spinning and even before Todd had arrived back at the hospital Marie was there, loving on me and checking on my little one.

My poor husband returned to the hospital to find me in the middle of the hallway in a wheel chair sobbing the words, "There is something wrong with our baby!"  I don't think I had ever felt such comfort through his arms as I did that day."  We had just entered into a new journey together and there was no one that I needed more that day... and every day since!

The days that followed were filled with so many prayers and tears.  We struggled not knowing what was wrong with our perfect little boy.  He had test after test run and was tied to monitors with alarms blaring every few seconds.  I didn't know what motherhood was suppose to feel like but I was sure that it wasn't suppose to hurt this much.

His test began to come back normal and no one could determine the reason for his extremely low heart rate.  Infant's heart rates should be around 120 beats per minute and our baby's was only 70.

There was also another dimension that only added to the heartache of this day... August 28th is the birthday of my angel sister Teresa.  My first child was born on her birthday and it was a beautiful reminder of her and an honor for me.  My sister however died from a congenital heart defect...and now my son not only shared her birthday but the potential for a heart condition as well.

We feel so blessed that God answers prayers! My little boy was able to leave the hospital with only a heart monitor that he wore for the first 6 months of his life.  
He is now a healthy, vibrant,  full of life, sweet little  gift to us.

Todd Christopher Bramlee II
You are the most extraordinary, kind hearted, loving, and generous creatures I know.
Sweet little boy thank you for teaching us all what unconditional love really looks like.
I am so proud to be your mama!
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Team Bramlee

There are times in our lives when our burdens can feel so heavy that we begin to loose strength, that's when we look to those that love us and care for us to step in and provide it when we cannot.  Our family has been loved, supported, and prayed for by so many people.... it's what has gotten us this far on our journey.

Matthew 11:28   28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

We pray together as a family and ask for strength and guidance, knowing that God will always see us through our valleys.  We see the mountain peeks in the distance but sometimes it seems like we just can't move fast enough towards them.

There are so many details in this journey that still need to be revealed to us before we can move on, towards our mountain.  We are constantly being bombarded with outside fears and concerns but we know that God is bigger.  We are praying for His wisdom, guidance and protection right now, but we would love to have our friends pray with us.

Matthew 18:20 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
The next couple of months will bring with them the potential for stress and worry.  Our prayer is for God to keep us strong and to help us to not allow fear and uncertainty to influence our decisions.  

It is hard for me to fight the idea that I am being selfish for asking this of others.  We are all in need of prayer... so who are we to ask others to pray for us?  However, I know that God wants us to pray for each other in times of need.... I guess right now it's our time.  

So my request is this... we would love to have at least one friend per week for the next 8 weeks commit to praying for us, to help us through this difficult trench.  It would bring us so much comfort to know that we have friends that are willing to pray us through this part of our journey and the trials that surround it.  

Those that would be willing please leave your week and/or time bellow in the comment section.  Please know that we are so humbled and grateful for each and every prayer that goes before the Lord on our behalf.  Thank you so much for loving us this much.

We are already thanking and praising God for what He is about to do in our lives and the lives of our children.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Favorite Question!

My favorite question believe it or not isn't about my husband or even my children.... I know that is very hard for some to believe, but it's true.  It isn't about homeschooling, healthy eating or exercise, however I do enjoy a good conversation about all of these topics.
Sadly enough my favorite question isn't asked to me very often... 
so I suppose you could say that I get really excited when the opportunity presents it's self.

So what is my favorite question?

"What is God doing in your life?"

The answer is written on the many pages of this blog.  Everything I have is in His life is His.  I couldn't imagine taking a step on my own, I depend on Him for every breath that moves through my lungs.  Although, my life doesn't make logical sense I know that He has brought me here for a greater purpose than my mind can fathom, and I will sit and wait each day for His direction.
I know that my brokenness has molded me and prepared me for the path 

that He lays before me....
and I am ready to travel it.... 
without questions or worries.  
The pains and sorrows of this world are too heavy for me to carry and would consume me if I tried.  So I give it all over to Him knowing that He will  protect me and direct me to become something more than I am today, thankful that He loves me to much to leave me the way  that I am.
 I have seen His faithfulness to many times to ever doubt Him.

So the short answer.....  He's breathing for me, because I can't nor would I even want to try on my own!

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Setting The Mood

I've noticed that the mood in which I begin my morning sets the tone for the rest of my day.  I love to be able to get up early, have my devotions, get dressed and unload my dishwasher before my angels arise.  If I can manage to accomplish these tasks I feel better preparded for whatever the day may have in store.  The truth of the matter is when A, B, C, and D don't happen I feel like I am playing catch-up the rest of the day.

Not only does my mood affect MY day but it also sets the tone for my four little ducklings.  The way I feel directly affects the way they relate to me and to each pressure, right!!!   I have to shake off my mood so that I don't infect my whole house with my poor attitude.  It is so easy to get into a mind set and not come out of it.  Sometimes I will catch myself using the same tone of voice over and over again, whether warranted or not.  I have learned the hard way that my kids will take on my mood,  their actions are a reflection of my attitude.  So for the sake of my entire house I will do my best to wake up in the morning and get out on the right side of the bed.

Children are a great means of accountability, giving us motivation to be 
the people that we need to be.
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Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Mama Magnet!

I have had a sneaky suspicion for a long time that mothers are built with a ''mama magnet" built into them, it's kind of like a homing device created by God.  For a while now I have been investigating this theory but it wasn't until baby number four began to crawl (or scoot, for a better description) that I concluded that my theory was correct.

I can be anywhere in the house.... alone and before I know it I am surrounded by little bodies, they just start to filter in one by one.  It doesn't matter what they are engaged in when their homing devices go off, they just relocate their activities to the room that I am occupying.  There have been many occasions when I have been working in a room by myself and looked up to find every child that I gave birth to sitting in the room with me, each playing independently.

Now that the littlest one is mobile there is no denying the theory.  I have left her on the floor in one room so that I could retrieve something from another and she not only finds me on her own but overcomes many obstacles to reunite herself with me.  It has kind of become a game now, she loves to chase me down the hall....pretty good for a baby that crawls on her belly!

I have to admit I rather enjoy the fact that my little ones just sometimes need to breath the same air as me.  They must find a certain level of security from just being in my presence.... 
I hope and pray that I will always be able to provide them with this gift.  
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