Monday, July 24, 2023

181 weeks

Hey Sonzee bear!

The Zupnick's are going back to Phoenix tomorrow. They have been so fun to share the house with. We have spent a lot of time eating, as Morah Zupnick makes sure to prepare food all the time. She is a fantastic cook and is doing no favors to my already expanding waistline. 

This last week we have done some more clothing shopping and I have been working virtually. 

The weather has been on and off raining and hot due to humidity. I wonder how it is for you? 

It seems that your siblings are having fun at their camps and Noam is having fun at home. He has been sharing his space with Nosson and it has been really funny watching them interact. They are acting like brothers now and it is pretty comical, including the fighting, which can get physical (and hysterical) to watch. 

VV continues to not be the same without you, but I am getting along the best I can. Things are just different.

Anyway, babygirl. Stay safe!  I love you!

Until next time.

Love always, 

The Mighty Contributor

Sunday, July 23, 2023

"You look happy"

“Your pics look like your happy again a lot, and your family is happy”.

I had to tiptoe my reply gently as this was a newly bereaved parent. I know what they were searching for. I spent Sonzee’s entire life with parents of newly diagnosed children seeking some sort of hope that maybe their child would be the one to defy the odds while living with a CDKL5 mutation. I didn’t want to crush their dreams early on in their journey, I knew deep down after time went by as their child’s skills or lack there of were more obvious, they would learn the reality, (plus there was a (slim) chance I might be wrong).  When the medical interventions became more profound it would be more difficult for them to convince themselves otherwise, better let them figure things out on their own. Not every child with a CDKL5 mutation is affected as severely as Sonzee was, not every 4-year-old with a CDKL5 mutation dies, it just happened to be our reality. So, I didn’t need to throw negativity into their face.  As such is the same with newly bereaved parents. They come seeking some sort of hope, some sort of comfort that life will go on, something, anything that says this won’t be as awful as I imagine, forever, right?!

Don’t be confused by a smile and being happy. There are happy moments, and the smiles when they happen can actually be real, but there is always a dark cloud hovering close by. The happiness and smiles are momentary, almost as if reality has halted and for a split second I am living in the moment, a happy one. A moment that will fade all too quickly as soon as the recesses of my mind remind me that I buried a child. Almost 3.5 years later there are more happy days than sad ones, but some days it is still hard to breathe. There are times when the happiness gets smacked out of me like the wind being knocked out of your lungs after a big hit, and I find myself gasping for air. Happiness exists, yes, it does, I can give you that. But will you ever be as happy as you once were as you stood wrangling all of your children after whispering threats in their ears to smile for the family pictures? No. Will you ever be as happy as you were sitting at your children’s school events when all of your children were alive and you were brought to tears by extreme happiness and amazement that your child completed a milestone? No. Will you ever be as happy as you were at your major life milestones when you were a complete family? No.

You will smile again. You will laugh. You will celebrate all the milestones that are yet to come, and you will for those seconds actually be happy. But then the shadow of what your deceased child won’t be celebrating, or the reminder that the last time you celebrated “event xyz” it was for your deceased child will pop into your mind and the happiness becomes muddled. The happiness is split. At least for me it is. I get happy, but there is a max to it. I enjoy life as much as I can, I smile when I am happy, and when I laugh it is genuine, but the realty is, I buried my little girl, there is a max to my happiness. Everything is harder and simple things are difficult.

Are we as a family happy? Yes, our family of 6 smiles and laughs and has an amazing time. We appreciate all of the moments that come our way. But don’t let the smiles and the pictures fool you, because the reality is, we are supposed to be a family of 7, so we are missing the piece that makes us irrefutably happy. 

The Mighty Contributor

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

180 weeks and 1 day

Dear Sonzee, 

Today is 180 weeks and 1 day since I last saw you. I calculated the numbers and it equals 3 years, 5 months, and 15 days, or 41 months and 15 days, or 1261 actual days. Time continues to pass, and life continues to go on. I feel so much further from you, yet I know spiritually you are close by. It isn't the same, but it cushions the blow a bit. It is like putting on some sort of safety equipment and then getting hit. Some protection is offered, but a hit still hurts, and the body still bruises. That is about where I am at this point in the journey.

There are still words I cannot find this far into the journey. There is still difficulty expressing the thoughts and feelings of your loss. This last week there have been days when your physical presence felt like another lifetime. So much continues to happen since you left.  All your siblings finished their 3rd week of camp and the Zupnick's headed home after being here for the last two weeks. It was such a fun time having them here, well for the adults, Noam and Nosson acted like brothers (which was really funny).

This last week we went to the waterpark at American Dream. I saw someone pushing a water wheelchair. I never noticed they had that the last few times we went. I wonder if by now you would have learned how to sit and could have sat in it without support or a seat belt. I wonder if you would have liked to be in the wave pool? I know the slides wouldn't have been your preference at all, but the hot tubs I know you would have loved.

We did some shopping this last week and ate a lot of yummy food. Your older brother is actually loving sleepaway camp this year. Your older sisters are smiling and seem happy at theirs. Meena hurt her wrist, but thankfully it isn't broken. The only other contact from your sisters is to send more money or specific items. Your brother got a pie in the face on his Hebrew birthday and is enjoying the sports and friends. He is trying to get us to get him an iPhone, but I think Aba and I are figuring out alternatives to that idea. Noam has been watching Monster's Inc on repeat as usual again this summer. He got new shoes this week from Bubby, along with a toy since she felt he wasn't being spoiled enough like your other siblings.

I worked last week remotely, I am so thankful I have the ability to do that so we can still enjoy summer here in NY. I wish you were here, but then I am reminded of your awful last summer here and the thought makes me exhausted. There has been a lot going on in my mind, but I will save it for another post. 

Hope you have a great week ahead little bear! Love you lots!

Until next time.

Love always,

The Mighty Contributor

Monday, July 10, 2023

179 weeks

Dear Sonzee, 

This last week the Zupnick's came to VV and are staying with us. Temima was dropped off at Camp Simcha and Nosson has been going to camp with Noam. Baby Meir and Baby Isla got to hang out on the 4th of July and it has been so fun having everyone in the house. We had a great time with uncle, Hay-Hay, and Isla visiting over the 4th. 

We have gone to Rita's twice now, and Noam is loving his cotton candy custard with fruity pebbles. There are some awesome new stores in Monticello this year for clothing. The girls and I have been getting our shopping in. It isn't the same without you here to store all the bags under, or have you as our shopping companion that is for sure.

Everyone seems to be adjusting to camp well. No bad news from Tzvi and the reports have been positive. Your sisters have written some letters, Meena wasn't thrilled over her bunk, but she is adjusting and appears to be having a great time based on the pictures she has been tagged in.

I had off of work this week because of the 4th of July, and that was nice. Aba finally put together the rockets that Tzvi won during a raffle years ago. We went to the baseball field and launched them and it was really awesome. We were all surprised at how far they went into the sky. It was a rainy day yesterday, so we also went swimming indoors.

The fire works during the 4th of July were insane as they were launched literally in our backyard by the lake. I was a scaredy cat and watched from indoors because they were so loud watching from the deck.  This week has been filled with friends and fun. Wish you could be here!

Until next time. 

Love you and miss you!


The Mighty Contributor