May was a hard month. What should have been a really joyous time for our family instead was filled with so much sadness, disappointment and tragedy, and it’s been really hard trying to sort through it all.
I had a hard time deciding on whether or not I should write about it on this blog, but I can’t just continue blogging about home decor and fashion as if nothing has happened. That just doesn’t feel right, so this post is heavy.
My sister-in-law, Sarah, gave birth to a precious little boy, Julian, on May 9th. On that day, I officially became an aunt. I wasn’t able to be at the hospital for his birth because I was sick (for several days before), but I sat by my phone all day waiting for the wonderful news that he arrived. That afternoon, he made his grand entrance! Julian was here!
I could tell just from texting with Sarah after he arrived that she was over the moon excited to see him and to be his mommy. I told her that I couldn’t wait to meet him, and hopefully I would be feeling 100% soon. She told me that the delivery “wasn’t bad,” and I told her she was crazy, but honestly, I was so thankful she said that because I am totally terrified of childbirth. Her text definitely gave me a good laugh.
I wanted to be at the hospital so much, but I didn’t want to get anyone sick, especially a newborn, so I stayed home. The following day, I woke up feeling so much better and actually had a normal voice again, so I texted Jacob and asked him to go with me to the hospital at 6pm when he was off from work. I didn’t even tell Sarah that I was planning to go because I wanted it to be a surprise.
Jacob called me just after 6pm with terrible news. Something happened to Sarah, and it wasn’t good, but we didn’t really know what was going on. I drove to the hospital which was only a few minutes away from our home and met our family in the waiting room. Sarah didn’t make it. The doctors tried everything for almost an hour, but she was gone. I remember being in shock as soon as I found out.
It still doesn’t feel real. It’s like we are all in this dream together going through our everyday motions, but nothing feels real, except when I see Julian, and then it starts to feel different. I’ll never truly understand why any of this happened. I just won’t. This was supposed to be such an amazingly wonderful, happy time in all of our lives, especially Sarah’s and her fiance’s. I was looking forward to spending so much time with Sarah and baby Julian, and in an instant all of our lives changed forever.
Julian is absolutely adorable and is loved so much by so many. He has a huge wonderful family that cares so much about him. He’ll never have any memories of his mommy, but I know through all of us, he’ll know how much she loved him and how much she wanted to be his mom. We’ll be there to share all of our memories and stories of our time with Sarah and with that, that makes me feel just a tiny bit better.
It’s been a really hard month for all of us, but we’re trying to figure this all out… how to keep moving forward even when it’s been incredibly difficult and relying on our faith, family and friends to get us through this tragedy step by step, day by day.
I’ve learned a lot about myself in these past few weeks, and I’ve learned a lot about others as well. I’m not much of a talker when it comes to things like this, but I thought writing about it might help me grieve and figure some of this out. I tend to keep my emotions and thoughts to myself through difficult times, and I just sort through them accordingly when I can and am able to. That’s probably not the best way to be, but it’s what works for me and what keeps me grounded and “together.”
I think about Sarah every day. Yesterday, our dog, Hallie, found some baby bunnies (newborns!) in our yard. We honestly didn’t know what they were. At first, Jacob thought they were rats, and he wasn’t going to tell me about them. He was just going to “get rid of them.” But then he decided I should know, so he showed them to me. I didn’t think they were rats (thankfully), so we thought maybe baby squirrels or rabbits. He did a quick google search, and we are pretty sure they are rabbits! We had no idea what to do about them, and we both instantly became sad. Sad because Sarah was a vet tech and she would have told us what they were and what to do about them. She probably would have come over to investigate to make sure they really are bunnies.
About the bunnies: There are 3 of them, and they must have just been born when we found them. Their eyes aren’t even open yet. We put up a little fence (with a gap of course) around them to keep our dog out, but hopefully the momma rabbit will still come every night to feed them. It’s been raining a ton, so I might get a tarp to put over the top of the little fence to help keep some of the rain out. They’re so small, and honestly, not the cutest, but I can’t wait to see them get bigger. I’ll share a photo of them as they grow if I can but I don’t want to get too close and scare the momma away. We read online that they may be in our yard for 3-4 weeks.
I like to think that maybe Sarah had something to do with those bunnies being in our yard. Maybe that’s a sign from her. Maybe it’s her way of bringing us a little bit of joy when we’ve been so incredibly sad these last few weeks.
This past month has been so overwhelming and tough, but I’m hopeful and thankful for a new month. We’ll be seeing Julian a lot and that brings joy as well, which I know is what we all really need. Life really is short, and everything can change in an instant. Take the photos (I’m preaching to myself here), call the ones you love, see your friends and family often and tell them what they mean to you. Things happen unexpectedly all of the time, and I promise you don’t want any of those regrets trying to sneak in when you’re trying to cope with the unimaginable.
Connie Tsai says
Beautifully written, friend. Thinking of ya’ll as always.
Thank you, Connie