Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes."

I got a beautiful email from a friend just a few days, hope you don't mind D. She always picks me up with her emails, and I'm sure I've told her that before. Recently she'd told me that she often thinks of Landan & that knowing about him makes her happy. She said other beautiful words as she always does, but I wanted to blog about a sentence she said in the email. I just feel like it's something I should talk about. Get my feelings out.

"I will say It is definitly not fair that he was taken from you, His mama, way to soon. I don't know if I could ever forgive that and in the same breath I couldn't be more grateful to have had him for what ever time and purpose I was given."

Who knew that someone who hasn't lost a child could be so "on page" with my own thoughts? Sometimes I wish their were a book on how to grieve the "right" way. Then maybe it would be easier. I still have anger about Landan's passing. I just can't wrap my head around the why's & what if's.

Why Landan? Why me? Why our family?
What if I would have taken him to the hospital the night before?
What if we didn't go here, or there?

Anyways, back to the email quote. I still am working on forgiving God for Landan's passing, not that he's really to blame I guess. I don't have anyone to blame except the disease. My mom says she's glad that we have no one to blame, that it would eat away at us. I guess I can see where she's coming from. But I also wish I had someone I could hate for taking Landan away. But I think I'd be tortured by those visions if someone did something awful to him. Not that I'm not already anxiety stricken by the visions of the end anyways. Sometimes I'll be laying in bed & I'll be thinking about the time Landan was at the hospital ... Then I get this adrenaline rush & an anxious feeling because I just can't believe this happened. I never thought I'd be in this place I am now. I used to visit memorial pages for other children who passed away too soon. I remember sheading tears of saddness for these children & their families. Now people are doing that for our loss. Nope, never in a million years did I think Landan wouldn't outlive me. I know you've heard it before, but children are supposed to outlive their parents! We're not supposed to bury our children! So I'm still working on things & living after this loss. I miss Landan so much though, I do anything for him to be here with us! I think God forgives me for being angry with him.

I feel so, so blessed to have been the mama of an angel sent to earth. Landan is & was perfect. I feel like the luckiest mom in the world. He's touched so many lives it's amazing, and I always hear atleast once a week about another life he's touched. It fills my heart with joy. Truely.

I've also been blessed with another son! So I guess I'm not being punished or not worthy as I may have thought immediately after Landan's death. Now the hole in my heart isn't as big. I have someone to share my love with again. I can't even describe the feeling I get cuddling Layne. Sometimes I don't want to let go, or I can't pry my lips away from kissing on him. I'm so thankful for my boys (hubby included) I love them all!

I love being the pink in my house of blue.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pictures from World Meningitis Day

Today was World Meningitis Day, as you would know if you've been following along with my blog, lol. So we went to Wal*Mart & got one of the disposable helium tanks so we could release some balloons. The black balloons you see say "Meningitis-Angels" on them. A dear friend, Sherry sent them to me. Last year I was unable to attend the Meningitis-Angels Conference in Houston, TX because I was 8mos pregnant with Layne. So Sherry sent me a "conference-in-a-box"! It was amazing, she wanted me to feel like I was their, and boy did she hit the nail on the head! She sent me these left over ballons & wanted me to release them on Landan's special days. Sadly, Sherry has since passed away. I was telling my husband as I grabbed some balloons to take

"I feel sad about seeing these balloons. I never thought that she wouldn't be able to see these pictures when I sent the balloons up."

I was then reminded though, Sherry WILL see these balloons! I know she was watching over us today, sitting next to my Landan on a cloud. Today I celebrated Landan & Sherry's life & fight against Meningitis at our balloon release. One black balloon was for Landan, one was for Sherry & the last for the other fighters who fought so hard against Meningitis.

Here are some pictures of Landan's little brother, Layne, whom will always know what a hero his big brother is.

"Today we celebrated the fight you fought Landan. Your so amazing to everyone that knows you, and a little hero in so many eyes. I miss you terribly & would do anything to wrap my arms tightly around you. I yuv you bebe!"

Nana releasing Landan's balloons

World Annual Meningitis Awarenes Day

First Annual
World Meningitis Day
April 25th 2009
Today is the very 1st Annual World Meningitis Day! On this day, we remember the lives lost & dramatically affected by meningitis. We should also use this day to spead some awareness to others!

Things you can do:
Take 10mins to share our story with atleast one person.
Visit a few websites dedica
ted to Meningitis Awareness.
Light a candle at 7pm (your time) in memory of the lives lost to Meningitis so that a wave of light goes around the world.

Our plans for today include a balloon release to remember Landan & the others who lost their life to Meningitis, participate in the 'around the world' candle lighting & spreading awareness by sharing our story with one new person.



A few friends have taken time to spread some awareness through their blogs! Marisa & Kerin (myspace blog) Thank you ladies so much!

I'll post our pictures later from the balloon release!




Thursday, April 23, 2009

Meningitis Awareness Week Days 4 & 5


First Annual
World Meningitis Day
April 25th 2009
Meningitis Week - Days 4 & 5
Life after Meningitis

Many Earth Bound Angels will not only suffer the loss of limbs, major organ damage including, brain, kidney, skin, but also blindness, deafness, have to give up attending school, quit college or receive less of an education, feel alienation form society and they often experience some or all of these life changes. The damage of meningitis is life long.

One of the most common complications is deafness, which affects around one in ten people, and can either be temporary or permanent. Blindness is also a possible complication

During the illness, septicemia (blood poisoning) can occur, and in extreme cases can result in a diminished blood supply to the feet, toes, hands and fingers. This may result in the need for skins grafts or even amputation.

Common health & behavior problems after having Meningitis includes: general tiredness, giddiness, bouts of aggression, recurring headaches/severe migraines, balance problems, mood swings, difficulty in concentration, violent temper tantrums, deafness, short-term memory lapses, tinnitus (ringing in ears), joint soreness/stiffness, clumsiness, eyesight difficulty/ blindness, epilepsy, amputation of limbs, depression, brain damage, paralysis, skin grafts, kidney problems, development of nero muscular diseases, digestive problems, & stunt bone growth.

Can Meningitis attack you more than once?
YES!

Above information above © Meningitis-Angels Organization
www.meningitis-angels.org

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Meningitis Awareness Week Day 3


First Annual
World Meningitis Day
April 25th 2009
Meningitis Week - Day 3
Meningococcal Disease - Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime

Below you'll see a PSA from The National Meningitis Association

video


Anyone: It cares not how old you are. You could be one month, three years, twenty-five years, or sixty years old.
Heaven Bound Angel Stories
Earth Bound Angel Stories

Anywhere: Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter. It likes no specific season.
See just how frequently this is happening!

Anytime: Morning, noon or night. Who knows when it will unleash it's wrath.
Jessica's Story (Video, grab your tissues)


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Meningitis Awareness Week Day 2

First Annual
World Meningitis Day
April 25th 2009
Meningitis Week - Day 2
Meningococcal Disease - What does it look like?


One of the "tell-tale" signs of Meningococcal Disease is the rash that appears on the body. The troubling thing is, once the rash get's to that point, the disease has already rapidly progressed & infection is in the bloodstream. The disease progresses even quicker from here on out. That is called "Septicemia". This rash will not blanch, which means if you look at the rash under a glass cup the rash will not disappear from the pressure you apply.

**GRAPHIC PICTURES BELOW**




Here are pictures of what the Meningococcal rash looks like. These are different stages of progression. This is exactly the type of rash Landan had.


*Note - These are not actual pictures of Landan. I'm using these pictures as a visual*

This is how Landan looked when I woke to find him laying on the floor at the end of my bed. When I was on the phone with my mom & then called 911, I told them it looked like he had bruises all over his body.


The pictures that follow are what the rash looked like when we saw Landan an hour after we got to the hospital. They'd rapidly progressed into this darker color & started covering his limbs instead of being spaced out like the first picture.

In this picture you can see that the infection is mostly in the limbs, you might be wondering why? It's because our bodies push the infection out to the limbs in attempt to protect our "core" organs from failing. Which makes alot of sense, it's pretty crazy to realize how smart our bodies are! We can live without our limbs, but can obviously not without our important organs. But this picture depicts VERY well how Landan looked in the end. My poor sweet little man. It makes me so sad to know what his body endured.


An excerpt from Landan's Story
"
At 9am I woke up to find Landan laying on the floor next to my bed covered in, what looked to me, like bruises. I sat up straight in bed and frantically tried to focus my eyes because I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I thought he was dead, I was so afraid to touch him. I thought he was going to be cold. Once my eyes focused I saw he was breathing, touched him and felt that he was still warm. I ran to the kitchen where my cell phone was plugged in, I yelled Landan's name while I was running to the kitchen so he would stay conscious. I called my mom and then 911. When the paramedics arrived they checked his vitals but they knew he was sick so took him out to the ambulance. I remember sitting in the ambulance and asked the driver when we were going to leave, it felt like we sat their forever. We took him to the best hospital in the area, Toledo Children's Hospital. The last thing Landan said to me while we were in the ER before they took him up to the PICU was "Mama hold me" but I couldn't because they needed to get him up to the PICU as soon as they could. I think I said "It's ok bebe." We followed him up, and I remember my mom asking the doctor on the way up if he was going to be ok, and he said something like "... he's a very sick little boy ..." We waited in the waiting room down the hall from the PICU for about an hour. Before the doctor came down they sent a Chaplin in to talk to us, my mom knew then that he was really sick. The PICU doctor came in shortly and told us Landan had bacterial meningitis and it was a 90% mortality rate."

www.angellandan.com

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gearing up - Make yourself aware!

First Annual
World Meningitis Day
April 25th 2009

The very first World Meningitis Day! I'm very happy to see this day & to see Meningitis being recognized around the world! Starting tomorrow (the 20th) I'm going to post some information about Meningitis, & it's different forms each day until the 25th, along with a link to an informative website about Meningitis. I hope you'll join me & learn something about Meningitis that you may not know.

As always, let us remember sweet Landan during this time & the amazing fight he fought against Meningococcal Meningitis!

Friday, April 10, 2009

First foods & messy faces


We started Layne on solid foods recently. Do this point he's had green beans, sweet potatoes & is on peas right now! I think we're going to give him squash or carrots next.

Here are some pictures of Layne enjoying his sweet potatoes


Or maybe not lol!
Here is our messy face picture from the next day at dinner. He was putting his
hands up in his mouth & getting it all over the place. I figured "Oh well" I'll just clean him
up afterwards & figured that this could be a really cute picture! lol He was being really excited in this picture, as if you couldn't tell! lol
Maybe he'll like the peas!

Hmm, I'm not sure about these mommy! lol
In all seriousness though, he has enjoyed the foods. The first bites may have been a little rough but he's a good eater. He gets his tongue in the way sometimes & pushes his food out, but we're making progress! I think cereal mixed with apple juice is his absolute favorite though! He scarfs that down!


And here's a bonus picture. Daddy took this of Layne while mommy was still sleeping. My sweet, sleepy little boy!


Well, I'm off to play Call of Duty! Don't know what I'm talking about? Check here!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bittersweet

This is a picture of Layne with two stuffed animals that were to be given to Landan on Christmas Day 2006. I never really thought about how bittersweet this picture is until right now. Landan wanted these two stuffed animals SO bad! He would look through the Toys R Us Big Toy guide and pick out the toys he wanted. If he was showing me he'd say "Want that Mama!" And said the same thing to my mom. We told him he'd have to ask Ho-ho.

The weekend before Landan passed away my mom went with me to get some of Landan's Christmas presents. He was at his dads so it was a good opportunity. We got Landan the Dora & Diego stuffed characters he wanted so badly & a big table top train set. Sadly, Landan never received those presents. God it breaks my heart so badly. Instead of seeing his excited face on Christmas morning, these things were displayed at the funeral home. Some family set up & displayed his train. Eventually we plan to donate his train set to the hospital he passed away at. In 2006 we got a plaque to screw on to the train set that says "In Memory of Landan Harris" with his dates & the URL to his Memory-Of website.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

GamerChiX wha?

Let me start by saying ... "You think you know, but you have no idea ..."
Ok, just trying to add a little drama! Did I do an ok job?

Some of you may or may not know, I'm a GamerChix. I spend hours playing on our Xbox 360, which Andy loves because he likes video games too. Well ok, Andy doesn't love that I hog the Xbox sometimes! We need another one for sure, then we could play online at the same time.

Since December I've been obsessed with Call of Duty:World At War! Yeaa! I play daily. I actually took a small break for like two weeks, I can't believe I didn't play for that long! I'm also a part of Foxy Gaming's COD division! I practice twice a week with the other ladies that play Call of Duty. I also play Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare with them as well (can't wait for Modern Warfare 2 to come out this November!) Call of Duty has 65 rankings to go through. As you go along it takes more & more points to rank up. You get 10pts for killing someone, a recon plane, artillery & dogs. So you can see how it could take some time to rank. So after you go through the 65 rankings you have the option to "Prestige" which basically means starting at the beginning again & working your way up, except you have a special badge so people know you've Prestiged. Currently I'm on my first prestige at level 28. At this point in time, my higest "streak" is 15. That means I killed 15 people before I was killed. And my highest total kills is 34! Yay! That's a high number from my 1-4 kills in the beginning. lol Ahh it's just so much fun. I'm addicted! I'm sure you probably think I'm morbid of playing this game. But for me it's not really about getting a rush from killing people. It's just so much fun playing on Xbox Live with other people from around the world! Sometimes technology still amazes me when it comes to the internet & online gaming! Gezz!

Here is a picture of Layne & I playing Call of Duty: World At War



And here is a graphic of Layne "playing" on the Xbox 360 for your viewing pleasure!
Still can't quite picture what I'm talking about? Here is a video I found that someone has posted on YouTube so you can see what the game looks like!





Oh, and did you hear Kiefer Sutherlands voice in the second video! lol

Do you have a Xbox 360? AND a Gold Membership? Well then, ADD ME! And we'll play together!
Gamertag: SeniorLux

About the 5 generations

I talked about how we used to have five generations in this post here. I found the picture of us all. The quality is bad because I took a picture of the original with my moms cell phone. So I kinda edited it a little to make it look old.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Green Beans & Great-Grandpa's

We started Layne on his first foods 4/2/09! Yay. He actually did really well with them. Only made a yucky face on the first bite. I don't think he liked how soupy the baby food is. I make his cereal thicker & he eats that alot better. He'll get the hang of it soon though I'm sure!





Layne also met his Great-Grandpa on 4/2/09. Grandpa enjoyed being able to meet Layne for the first time! We used to have 5 generations. But my great-great grandma passed away & then Landan so we were quickly widdled down to 3. Now with Layne here we have 4 generations. It's still hard to believe we lost two dear family members in such a short amount of time.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Spongebob, Baby food & Sitting alone

So since Layne's Ped's appt last Friday we've been consistently feeding him cereal nightly. I aim for anywhere between 8-10pm so we can have some sort of schedule! Today we all went to the grocery store & spent about $30 getting Layne's "First Foods" Yay! Weird now how they come in the little plastic cups. When Landan was a baby it was stricktly the little glass jars, sometimes I can't believe how quickly things change! So anyways, we got - Green beans, Peas, Carrots, Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Bananas & Apple Sauce. We also got some juice to add to his cereal & more cereal! I can't wait to feed him tomorrow, yet at the same time can't grasp how 5months went by so quickly!



When we got home, I asked Andy if he'd help me clean out a shelf in the cupboard to keep Layne's baby foods. Well he didn't want my help & told me he'd rather do it himself. lol But I stood to "observe" anyways lol I pulled a Spongebob bathroom cup out of the cupboard & inside it was an old bottle of Landan's Spongebob vitamins. I put them up for Andy to see & made a pouty lip. I told him I guess I'd take these things to Landan's room & started to walk away to do that. He must have seen me walking on the edge with my emotions & asked if I was going to cry. I turned around, walked back to him & put my head on his shoulder & started to cry. It's hard when these things jump right out at you, things you have memories of! When we moved into the apartment, we got an entire Spongebob bathroom set-up! This particular cup came with the set & sat on the sink. For some reason, Landan had an obsession with turing on the water in the bathroom, filling up this cup and drinking out of it. lol Little stinker! So it made me sad to see that today. I miss him so much.

Later on I was talking to a friend on the phone. She's also an angel mom, so I shared what happend today with her. Then we talked a little about Layne, she asked if he was sitting up yet - I said yes. She was wondering if he was sitting up in the middle of the floor yet - Well at that particular moment, the answer to that question was no. But low and behold, just 20mintues later, Layne was sitting on his own, in the middle of the floor. Granted, this skill isn't perfected 100% yet! But he's doing so well! My little, big man.

Yay big boy!

Tiiiiimmbeerrrr!

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