|Posted by Celeste Winslow on May 10, 2013 at 1:25 AM|
I can’t believe it is already May. I have been putting off doing any updates because every time I think about doing one, it reminds me of how much time has passed since we lost Preston. And now it is May. It will be 1 year on May 19th. I wish it I could say it seems like yesterday but it doesn’t. I think this is one of those times that it seems like it has been forever since we were able to hold him, hear him laugh and see his smile, or since I last heard him tell us that he loves us.
James has told me something that I think about every day, several times a day actually. We don’t miss him anymore today than we did yesterday. He is right. I don’t. It is hard though and you think you miss him more because a month like May is filled with reminders that he is not here for things like Mother’s day and the Bone Marrow departments Rainbow’s for Hero’s walk we just attended last weekend. Soon it will be his anniversary and Emily’s baptism. We just need to keep reminding ourselves that we miss him just as much today as we did yesterday.
In the last update I mentioned that we were expecting another baby. Emily Belle Winslow joined our family on March 8, 2013. She arrived at 6:37pm and was 6 pounds, 4 ounces. 20 inches long. She was a month early and besides being jaundiced and having a hernia, she is a perfectly healthy baby. Emily arrived on our 10 year wedding anniversary. Before we got married James and I talked about renewing our vows (because he wanted another bachelor party) and for the past few years we talked about how we wanted the kids to be part of this renewal. After Preston passed away, the idea of our vow renewal was not as appealing. It just didn’t seem right. When Emily was born on our anniversary, we took it as a sign as a gift from Preston and that he was right here celebrating with us.
Besides missing Preston so much, the hardest part of the past year has been the pregnancy and having the new baby for me. Not because I am sleep deprived or because I don’t have the best pregnancies but because of the comments like:
You have 3 Girls.
How many kids do you have?
You going to try again for a boy?
You don’t want to explain private family situations to strangers because I knew that they never intended to hurt anyone by the questions but I can’t tell you how many times this has made me cry or bothered James. We were given a boy, the most perfect boy and he was taken away from us way to early. I am so glad that we had another girl because it would not have been fair to a boy. He would have had a lot to live up too. Even going to the doctors for baby check up’s was hard. Not having the same doctors every visit, they knew about Preston. I walked into almost every appointment with them asking about how I was handling things instead of how was I feeling or talking about the baby. I felt abnormal if I didn’t cry and abnormal if I did. You also think about all the things that you know that he would have enjoyed and we wish he could have done. It makes it hard to sit back and fully enjoy things. I think there will always be a guilt (even though I know Preston would want us to be happy) that we are having fun and he is not with us to be doing these things. But to be honest, I think I have handled the last year pretty well considering. We are still devastated at the loss of our son but we deal with at home privately. It could be so easy to get depressed and just breakdown but we need to try to be the best parents we can for our other children, Preston’s sisters.
The girls are doing well. Abby has been doing great in school. She started playing lacrosse and loves it. She is busy with play dates, sleep overs, and being a normal 7 year old. It is great to see because she didn’t have normalcy for so long. I try and think about how hard this has been on her and I am so proud of how she has been dealing with it. She misses Preston so much and from time to time she feels a sense of guilt that she didn’t play with him enough. I love the stories that she remembers about him.
Stephanie is doing great too. She is such a funny and smart girl. She will start preschool in the fall and I think this past year has been a huge transition for her. Her first 2 years were spent in the hospital, watching us care for her brother. This past year, she has really been able to experience things that she could not before. Stephanie is an incredibly caring, independent, patient, and loving girl. I wonder how different her personality would have been if our luck was different. She misses Preston a lot too. You wouldn’t think it would have such an impact on a 2 year old but it does. She talks about him often and plays with his toys all the time. A few weeks before I had Emily, I had to be admitted to the hospital. I had to go to the same floor Preston was on and it broke our hearts to hear her ask if I was going to go to Heaven too.
Emily is 2 months old now and we see so much of Preston in her. Bittersweet, yes. But we welcome that she looks like him, that she makes the same lips that he made, and her calmness and way she crosses her legs when she sleeps. Even in a picture from one of her ultrasounds, you could clearly see those lips. She is such a joy to have as part of our family. We often think about how hard it is on us that she never got to meet her amazingly strong and courageous brother and how hard it will be on her to hear about him all the time someday without being able to have the connection her sisters had. We will do our best to make sure he is just as much as part of her life as he is in Abigail and Stephanie’s. We are so thankful that he was able to name her. Emily Belle, his 2 favorite girl Thomas the Train’s. We used his artwork in her room and we will tell her stories and watch videos often.
Looking back on my last post, I failed to give an update about the Hess trucks and art supplies that we gave to the kids on the floor for Christmas. It was a huge success. We are so thankful for everyone who contributed and helped us make it happen. We are planning on doing this every year. We know Preston would have wanted to do this if he was here. He was such an unselfish boy even at his age, wanting to give his toys to kids that needed them. He was the first one to clean out his toy box if we asked him too. We can’t thank everyone enough who made this happen. I was also touched when the girl’s doctor said that he bought a Hess truck for his daughter in memory of Preston. We love that idea as well. Stephanie often plays with his trucks and it brings smiles to our faces remembering how much Preston loved playing all the time. I think part of the reason I forgot to post about it was that we decided that we couldn’t be home for Christmas last year. It would have been too hard. We ended up going to Disney for the week and to Discovery Cove on Christmas day. We had a very nice time and it was a great distraction. We kept ourselves very busy and we are so glad that we did this.
Some have asked what we are going to do for his anniversary on the 19th (It is really hard to call it an anniversary) We don’t really feel like it is a day to celebrate, it was the worst day of our lives. What we would love the most, for those who want to remember Preston that day is for you to play with and love your children as you should every day. We are going to spend the day at home with our girls. We will wear our shirts, release some balloons, watch videos and make some of his favorite foods but we will wait to celebrate his life on his birthday in September.
James and I have started to write down funny stories or things he used to say. If you have any you would like to share, please email them to me. We would love to have them. We have been going through videos as well (or James has). It is still really hard for me to watch. You want to watch and talk about him all the time because eventually it will be harder to remember but at the same time you don’t want to watch or talk about all these things because it breaks your heart and I end up hysterical every time.
We are thankful for the friends and family that have provided us support over the past few years. We are so lucky to have so many wonderful people keeping us in their thoughts and prayers.
Please also pray for James. He will be taking part 3 of the board exams in June. This is the test he was scheduled to take a few days after Preston passed away last year. Since it is only offered once a year, it is that time again.
I will update again soon. I will post a few pictures too in the picture section as well.