Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Holiday's"

I've noticed the last week or so Halloween decorations appearing on peoples porches and houses. It hasn't even dawned on me that maybe I should be decorating until today. That is when I realized that I am not the same person as a year ago. If anyone knows me I enjoy decorating and creating memories--especially for holiday's. I have a lot of fun decorations I've made and bought. I enjoy getting them out each year--until this year. It just seems so --how do I word it? Trivial. I guess the thoughts of a holiday and any celebrating going on without Wyatt involved doesn't excite me. I'm sure it's all a part of the grief and mourning. I'm sure in a year or two I will be back to my decorating frenzy but until then I just don't see the point. Until I look at my other kids and see what they would be missing out on if their mom didn't make these holidays fun for them. If it wasn't for them I really wouldn't do a thing. I probably would still be in bed crying. So I'm grateful for my kids. I'm not necessarily grateful for these holiday's that will be coming up. At least not this year. But I'm so grateful for the motivation my kids give me.
Wyatt was with us last year for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentines. I'm afraid his absence is going to tug at my heart extra hard this year. I loved how he didn't care that he was a peacock last year for Halloween and he didn't care that most people thought he was a girl. This year he would have been at such a fun age for all of these holiday's coming up. My brain just wants to boycott all holiday's for the rest of my life but my heart and love for my kids tells me other wise.

Wyatt as a peacock.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Little Reminders

Today I went out to get the mail and returned with a letter from our insurance company. It was addressed to the parents of Wyatt Lewis Larsen. I thought oh, another medical claim coming our way. When I opened it I started to cry. This is what it said "Happy Birthday to your one-year old....as part of our congratulations, we are providing you with an immunization schedule." Didn't they know he is gone? They processed a million medical claims on him. Didn't they get the message that he had died? I just didn't need them reminding me of what I don't have anymore. It's those little reminders that hurt. I keep getting Huggies coupons in the mail. I cry every time knowing I won't ever get to buy diapers again. It hurts to walk by the children's department at the store and know that I won't be getting the latest baby gadget or cute outfit for my one-year-old. I keep finding little things of his whenever I clean out a drawer, cupboard or closet. It's just hard--every little reminder that he is gone hurts and makes my heart ache and long to have him back. Someday compensation will come and I will get to experience and do all those things I long for right now. Someday.....

Friday, September 26, 2008

"Rope"

Most of you knew that D wanted to name Wyatt --"Rope". I wouldn't even consider it. I was too worried he would grow up being made fun of. I'm not sure if D was really serious about it or if he just liked the reaction he got from me. Anyway, if I would have known that Wyatt would only live almost 6 short months I probably would have let D get his wish--at least his middle name. "Rope" became one of Wyatt's nick names.
This horse toy is what D gave Wyatt for Christmas. I found it at Target and thought this is what D needs to get for his little "Rope." Wyatt loved his horse! He especially loved grabbing at the tail and chewing on it. It was a challenge for his little hands to grab. He would concentrate so hard until he would finally get it. When Wyatt passed away we each picked a toy or something that we knew Wyatt liked to put in his coffin with him. D picked this horse.
About a month or two after Wyatt died I decided I wanted one of these horses for each of my kids to have when they might be missing their little brother(thanks Jen for the idea) Anyway, I had searched and searched and finally --thanks to my niece Natalie we found some on e-bay. This is the gift that we gave to Ty, Em and Hay at our picnic breakfast on Wyatt's birthday. Now when they are missing their little brother they can hug and cuddle with this little horse and remember their little brother that loves them so much.

Opening their presents at Wyatt's grave.

Hay snuggling with her "Wyatt horse."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Wyatt's 1st Birthday"


Here is what we did as a family to celebrate Wyatt's birthday this past weekend. After the surprise balloon release we took our kids to all a dollar to buy presents for Wyatt to put on his grave. Hayley and Emily both picked out teddy bears and Tyler picked out a football. Tyler choose a football because if Wyatt were alive he would be teaching him how to play ball. Those are some of the hard moments--the what if's. Then we took the kids over to my parents condo to have them tend so Derek and I could go do sealings at the temple. How grateful I am for the temple. It has brought me much comfort. I love the blessings that are pronounced in the sealing ordinance. Whenever I hear anything about the resurrection I gain such hope and I feel such excitement because that is when I will have my little boy again. How eternally grateful I am for the Savior and for his miraculous Resurrection--it's because of him that I have hope.
The next morning was Wyatt's actual birthday. We got up a 7am and had a breakfast picnic before Derek had to go to his bishopric meetings. We had the picnic at Wyatt's grave. We had a family prayer, then sang Happy Birthday to Wyatt and then Hayley blew out his candle. Of course I had to wipe away many tears thinking that he wouldn't be there to blowout his own candle. Actually maybe he did--it was a little windy and it was hard to keep the flame going. After eating our breakfast cake the kids placed the presents they had gotten for Wyatt on his grave. I then had a present for each of the kids. It was a stuffed horse that I will explain more about in another post.
After that we went home and got ready for church. I always like to have church music playing as we get ready for church and during most of the day on Sunday. I think it helps keep the spirit in our home. When we had all gotten ready and were in the kitchen talking the song "God be with you till we meet again" came on. I couldn't hold back the tears. It was if Wyatt was letting us know how much he missed us as well and what a glorious reunion it will be someday when we are all together again.
We went to sacrament meeting. Sacrament meetings can be difficult for a number of reasons one is the beautiful hymns about Christ. It's hard not to cry and think of my little Wyatt who was on my lap just a few months ago. It's always a constant battle not to cry and sometimes I just can't keep from tears surfacing. At the end of sacrament meeting our sweet Bishop got choked up and told the congregation that it was Wyatt birthday today. He then expressed his love for our family. It was one of the sweetest things anyone could do for me. The flood gates opened and I felt such love from our sweet ward. Our bishop has been so good to me. He has shown such compassion and thoughtfulness towards me the past 6 months. I will be forever grateful to him for that.
After sacrament meeting the kids and I went home and wrote messages to Wyatt on the balloons we were going to release latter that day. It was an emotional event. Tyler filled his whole balloon up with wonderful words to his little brother. Emily drew a picture of her and Wyatt at the second coming and wrote some really sweet words to her little brother. And Hayley kept telling Emily that her picture was wrong because Wyatt couldn't stand and then she scribbled some stuff on hers.
Derek was able to come home from church for a little bit so we all sat down on the couch and watched Wyatt's video and cried as a family except little Hayley --she always keeps things light. After the video we just sat, cried and hugged and talked about our sweet Wyatt. It was a very special time. We then went to his grave again and took a picture of our family.
My sweet parents came down this weekend to be with us for Wyatt's birthday. They were here in St. George during all of Wyatt's life so they were very close to him. It was so nice to have them with us this weekend to remember their last grandchild. We went to their condo and played the Wii in memory of Wyatt. Wyatt loved watching us play the Wii--it was one of his favorite things to do. After dinner we went to Wyatt's grave and released balloons. It was emotional to see those balloons with the kids amazing messages on them go up to heaven. We then spent some time just being at his grave. Tyler and Grandpa played catch with the football Tyler had gotten for Wyatt. We walked around and visited. And then Hayley decided that she was "just kidding" about giving the bear to Wyatt that she had picked out so she took it home with her.
We then went home and had cake. One of the first things Tyler said after Wyatt died was how much he was going to miss seeing Wyatt on his first birthday dig into his cake. So I made 3 cakes for each of the kids to dig into. I've always made cupcakes for their first birthdays and put two together to make a small but taller cake. So we sang happy birthday again and blew out the candles and then the kids dug in.
After cleaning up after the cake we did our "No Empty Chairs" box. I decided that we would each give Wyatt a spiritual gift. Something we could work on the next year that would help us make it back to Wyatt so in the end all our chairs will be filled in heaven. We each took a paper and wrote down one thing we would try to do better this year and then we put it in the box. I think this is something we will do each year on his birthday. We then got a few of his things out--the piece of hair we had trimmed before he died, the blanket the hospital gave us that he left this earth in and a few other mementos.
Many tears were shed throughout the day, and previous days. The tears shed were a wide variety of causes. Some were tears of gratitude to the many, many wonderful people that have touched our life's and helped us so much the past 6 months. Tears of gratitude for the many thoughtful gifts people sent us and gave us. Tears of love for each other and especially for Wyatt. Tears of love for such amazing family members and friends in our lives. Tears of gratitude for our loving Savior that gives us the hope of having our Wyatt again someday. And of course tears of missing our little boy. It ended up being a very special and neat weekend we will never forget. I'm glad I didn't stay in bed all weekend and cry because I would have missed out on some wonderful spiritual experiences. Happy Birthday Wyatt--we love you and miss you!

My sister gave me this tile for our house. I love it! Thank you!Our breakfast picnic at Wyatt's grave.Playing the Wii in memory of Wyatt.Our balloon releaseDigging into their cakes. Emily loved getting messy hands the best and Hayley wouldn't even touch the cake with her hands--she had to have a fork. Tyler was a good sport and dug into his cake in memory of Wyatt even though he really doesn't like to get his hands dirty.

Our "No Empty Chairs" box.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Balloon Releases

Update: I've been adding more pictures to this post when I get them. Thanks everyone for even thinking of taking pictures and then sending them to me.
I'm just overwhelmed with gratitude and love to so many, many friends and family that released balloons in memory of Wyatt. It's just amazing to me how many good people there are in this world. I'm sure Wyatt was amazed at the outpouring of love shown to his family this weekend. Thank you everyone! Balloons were released in Canada to Arizona from California, Nebraska and Idaho and then all over the state of Utah. From Logan to St. George. Thank you for remembering our little boy.

Derek's whole family gathered Sunday night and wrote messages to Wyatt on their balloons. They then sang "Families can be Together Forever" as they released their balloons for Wyatt. I wish so bad we could have been there along with all the other releasings. My sister had 3 or 4 different balloon releasing throughout the day.

My niece Natalie has a little boy a few months younger than Wyatt named Jake. Jake and Wyatt were going to be the best of friends on this earth. Jakey was playing with one of "Wyatt's balloons" and was having a lot of fun playing with it. His older sister Addie(the same age as Hayley) came up to him and said "Jakey you need to let go of that balloon so it can go up to heaven so Wyatt can play with it too." How precious! I love kids and the innocence they show. Thank you so many family and friends for remembering our birthday boy this weekend. We love you all! Here are a few pictures of some of the balloon releases that people have sent me. Again I'm overwhelmed with emotion that so many would remember our little boy. That is one of the greatest gifts you can give a grieving person is to remember their loved one. Thank you!

Angel Tanner's family in Canada--I love this picture! Thanks Denine!My sweet friend Robyn and her darling kids. Thanks!Thanks Robyn and Steve for attending the temple in memory of Wyatt. I love this picture you took of the Provo temple.Angels' Elliana and Emmaline's parents in California. Thanks Marc and Megan!My aunt Linda's family in Arizona. Thank you!My sweet friend Erika and her cute girls. Thank you!Angel Luke's family at Luke's grave in Idaho. Thanks Jen!My brother Doug and his family. We love you!Little Jakey with Wyatt's balloon. "Forever Buddies"Sweet little Addie that remembered to pray for our family. We love you Addie!Love you Nat!My sisters family. Thank you for everything!Mitch you are such a stud!

"Good Things Utah"

video

Good Things Utah aired Wyatt's picture for his birthday this morning. But more amazing they told his story and sent their love to me. Words can't describe how much that meant to me. I started crying instantly when I saw his sweet little face but then to have them talk about him made it even more special. Thank you Good Things Utah--that was above and beyond anything I had imagined. Thank you for remembering our little boy.

Surprise Balloon Release

There are just too many pictures and things that I want to record from Wyatt's birthday that I'm going to do separate posts for each of them. I will begin with what happened Saturday morning.
We have the most amazing neighbors and friends. Words just can't describe the feelings of love and gratitude that are in my heart for all they have done for our little family. Saturday morning I woke up not knowing if I could make it through this weekend. I wanted to crawl back in bed and cry. I was feeling so alone in my grief. I knew I couldn't stay in bed --I needed to make this weekend memorable for my kids. My visiting teacher had called me Friday night and said she wanted to come over with a few others to bring something for me at around 10am. Little did we know that so many of the wonderful friends and neighbors that we love were in our front yard all with balloons to release in memory of Wyatt. It was what I needed so badly! Words can't describe the feelings of love that filled me. Fillings of deep, deep gratitude filled my heart that they would remember our sweet Wyatt. I really can't describe in words how I felt--it was simply amazing. These wonderful people are the ones that knew our little boy the best. They saw him each Sunday at church and throughout the many days we had our Wyatt with us. I felt the comfort and strength that I had been praying for and I know so many others had been praying for wash over me with great power. I knew then that I would be able to make it through this weekend and it was going to be an amazing one. Thank you neighbors and friends for all the love, support and kindnesses you have shown our family. We love you! Here are a few of the awesome pictures our friend Boyd took.

Thank you LaDawn for organizing this for us.This is what I saw. I was overcome with emotion.Friends and neighbors we love.The balloon release up to heaven.




Em with her friends






How do we thank you for doing this for us? I just don't have words to describe the gratitude and love I feel. It was a little bit of heaven here on earth. THANK YOU EVERYONE!