Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 23: The Roller Coaster Continues...


Wow.  What an amazing ride just a day can be.  Ang and I are just exhausted by attempting to operate at "normal speed."  Holy cow!  I dropped Ali off at daycare, had a 10 am meeting, and an 11:30 lunch meeting.  Then it was to the bank to do a little banking and the cleaners and I was home by 2:30.

Wiped out.

I walked over to my desk and just couldn't even think.  I curled up on the couch and thought I'd distract myself with a little Arsenal action.  I had a match saved on the DVR, and it had been over a month since I had seen my boys play, so I thought that would cheer me up.  Well, turns out they played today as well, and I caught that game live.  Not only did they lose 0-2 to a team they beat 6-0 at home last time they faced them, they lost two of their players to injury, one of which is their star captain.  It was probably the worst game Arsenal has played yet, even worse than Sunday when they blew a 2 goal lead in the second half to their North London rivals, Tottenham Hotpsur, and lost 2-3.  (What a great name btw - Tottenham Hotspur - even if they are our rivals, I still am totally entertained by their name... hey Mariana or Lolly... find out what a hotspur is for me, will ya?)

Well, by the end of that miserable game, I was not feeling better, I was feeling worse!  I actually began to have a bit of a panic attack.  The house started closing in around me in its gigantic quiet and emptiness.  I just couldn't bear the sound of silence any longer.  Every activity around the house feels hollow without Bella.  I started feeling really helpless and hopeless.

Then, it happend.

God stepped in.

A letter from a retired doctor I met in MN was sitting in my inbox.  He had written earlier in the day to ask how things were going; he didn't know.  I filled him in and then watched the soccer game.  His response was the letter I am referring to.  It was one of the two most hope-filled letters I have received yet.  As the blog is 99% female commenters and my professional field is 89% female, coupled with the fact that my dad died in 1997, I've been missing some male leadership/mentorship in my life.  He urged me to call him, and I did, and we had the most extraordinary conversation.  I immediately felt clearer, stronger, and had a giant infusion of HOPE in that moment.

Life is moment by moment, and it is important to remember that whatever is in this moment - bliss, joy, boredom, suffering, tragedy - will surely pass.  God is constantly conspiring to support us in everything we do.  It is our job to put on our "God-Goggles" so we can recognize his blessings.  They are all around.  As we allow this moment to just be, and grant it space to move on past, it allows new realms of possibility to arise (there is some good ol' Landmark Education lingo for you!), and if we invite God into those new realms, he is all too happy to oblige us.  The first step is to just BE with what already is.  This is so hard for us.  Here is why I think I am overall doing pretty well about "the death of my child."


Most people in our current culture subscribe to a truth that goes something like this: " No one should have to outlive their children."


In nature, who gets eaten by the predators?  The children, the sick, and the elderly.

A century ago, infant and child mortality was a fact of life.  You had ten kids hoping five would survive to adulthood.  Moms died in delivery all the time.  Thanks to breakthroughs in western medicine (antibiotics, the c-section, vaccines, NICU, respirator, etc...) we have all but eliminated infant and child mortality from our society.  Yet, it permeates every developing culture on the planet today.

Are we so short of memory?

We have so removed ourselves from the cycle of life and death that the first time we told Ali that the chickens she saw at the farm are what her breaded chicken nuggets were made of, she just looked at us and started LAUGHING at us!  It was the most ridiculous thing she had ever heard.  It is as if our ability to deal with death has atrophied from lack of use.  Perhaps this is a good problem to have, but I see us as an entire culture that is now not only out of shape in life, but out of shape over death.

There is work to be done.

Transformation doesn't happen by itself.

Will you join me?

Please forward my blog onto your social networks (again) and encourage your circle to come to our circle.  We are a growing community that work hard at becoming the authors of our own life in new ways with each new day.

What new 'aha' did you experience today in your journey?

One last story.  I was catching up with a guy I haven't talked to much since I left for MN, and he was telling me how his Porsche was totaled in a car accident not too long ago.  He lamented that his biggest problem now is that he doesn't know what to buy, as he'd have to wait 6 months to get the same model... audis are too this, BMW's are too that... maybe he'll sell his other truck and get a land rover...

I told him that my company THE DIVINE PLANET is seeking to write bigger and bigger checks to charity.  I started the company last year with a double digit donation.  Then, over the summer, I raised some $$ and wrote a 3 digit check.  Next week, I'll be writing a 4 digit check.  I told him that he should buy last year's model and cut me a check for $10,000.00 so I can write a 5 digit check to find a cure for Bella's disease before the year is out.

Think he's gonna be able to piss and moan over his new car choices without thinking of me and Bella particularly?  He LOVED Bella.

Seed planted.

God night.

P.S.  Blogger won't let me upload any photos tonight for some reason.  Sorry.  In the meantime, go to the video section and watch the new video.  You.will.die.laughing.


  1. I came across this quote today and immediately thought of my fab & fav 4:

    Real tears are not those that fall from your eyes and cover your face.
    ...Real tears are those that fall from your heart and cover your soul.

    May the sun shine upon your face and the wind be at your back!
    Always sending good thoughts your way & forever will be praying for you all!
    with all our love- always-
    nicole b

  2. ps...I just watched the 'pilates' video....W A Y too cute! Man...I.miss.her.

  3. We can't have life without death, and we can't have death without life.

    I find myself pondering on my quick thought..

    Seems to be more where that came from I just can't access.

    Missed the photos, but the video....Couldn't have came at a better time. I love!!

    My "aha" experience for the day...the pilates video...there's no EB present because the good, the beautiful, the happy, the fun, the postive always outweighs, the bad, the ugly, the sad, and the not so fun, the negative. Made me so happy I wanted to do it haha.

    It's not that I am denying it's presence, I'm just focusing on the beauty and happiness of it all!! Not just here, but everywhere, even through my own tears. I am just so thankful to have these postive and negative experiences in my own life.

    It's the simple things that mean tha most and have the largest impact!

    I like the seed you planted...that was a good seed of awareness..wake up, open your eyes, and see what your are really looking at seed. Wow...he won't be able to forget, or never
    forget! I think you planted a garden with one seed.

    You all (((HUG)) each other for me...that's what my Nanny used to always say, and it's what I'm feeling, and how I want to close.

    I miss her and missing Uncle too...lost them both this yr.

  4. Hi Tim: Just wanted to let you know that I am still here and thinking about you guys all the time. Little sidenote, this weekend my husband and I went to Rome(our 5th anniversary present to ourselves a couple of months late). We few Easy Jet, if you don´t know it is that famous bright orange low cost airline. Well on Easy jet they sell Starbucks...couldn´t believe it and thought of you right away since you talk about them often. It was a little disappointing to find out it wasn´t actually brewed but dissolvable granules...never seen Starbucks coffee made that way before.

    Hugs, Jeni (Madrid)

  5. I saw this saying yesterday and sent to Ang at work. When I read it I thought immediately of the 4 Ringgolds!

    It's about Love,
    It's about Compassion,
    It's about Kindness &
    It's has nothing to do with Luck
    You get what you give, so give GOOD!

    SO glad that you are always thinking (Bella is always at work to make things happen)and asked your retired doctor friend to help your vision become reality!

    Tina in NJ

  6. OOOOhhhh, a $10,000 check would be fabulous, eh? I wish I had that kind of cash to hand over because surely I would. Oh, and I wish that my biggest problem was what car to buy next. lol.

    I am glad that you were sent someone at the very moment you needed them. God is good, all the time.

    Much love Ringgolds,

  7. People with money to burn...ugh.
    My van is a 2000, with over 100,000 miles.
    Maybe he (or Oprah) can get me a new car, too.
    Hope you get your check.

    And the video, too much.
    I still adore the Barbie one...and your three ladies on the bed...

  8. Hi Tim.
    According to Internet a hotspur is an impetuous or fiery person; a hothead. It's the nickname of Henry Percy (1364-1403), an English rebel.
    You taught me somenthing again because I have never heard of that football team!
    Hoping you have a better day today.


    That is the cutest thing!! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Don't you just love how God sends encouragement at just the right time? When that happens to me, I often look back and realize it was there all along but my sinfulness, pride, worry, etc. got in the way.

    Praying as always!

    Love from TX,
    Laura (for Team A)

  10. Tim, I've had a great craft year and will be sending my 3 digit check to P.U.C.K. next week.

    Much love to your family during this holiday season.

    Carol in Ohio

  11. Tim!

    It was so great seeing you and getting to catch up and give you a big hug! I miss your smile already. I watched the video and laughed out loud at how cute the Pilates girls are! It's moments like those you're glad you got it on video :)

    Brianna and Teren

  12. You told the porsche guy very well! I hope he will respond accordingly.

    It's strange, or may be not so strange that you think of the same "consolations" I did,when I lost my son. I finally convinced myself that it was normal and planned and it had to happen. Then our daughter was born with EB, although the prenatal test said she will be ok. She died too. I am fed with divine plans for now. God never mentioned the public work I did to help the others with EB and to spread information.

    But believe me, I prefer to be a 21st century mom and watch my children grow,than to be 15th century mom and watch them go just babies as if they are disposable.

    Think about that children grow and go away from their parents. Bella has grown too fast and now is away at Heaven's University. Is it a consolation for you?

  13. The 'Hotspur' in London's Tottenham Hotspur Football Club is derived from the 14th/15th century knight Sir Henry Percy, known as "Harry Hotspur". The Percy family owned substantial tracts of land in Tottenham and Henry himself had lived there for a time. Killed at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403, he had a great reputation as a fearless and heroic warrior even in his own lifetime and was called "hotspur" because of his dashing willingness to charge into the thickest part of battle. This dashing attacking spirit has come to symbolise the character of the club, reflected in their motto "Audere Est Facere" (To Dare Is To Do).

    The part that says, ......."because of his dashing willingness to charge into the thickest part of battle.: reminds me of someone!!
    Lots and lots of Love Lolly

  14. Hey Ringgolds,

    The video of Bella and Ali doing pilates is priceless! Thank you for sharing it. I'm thinking of you all this week (as always!) and want you to know that as I count my blessings tomorrow, I'm so grateful to have come to know you and become a part of this community thanks to your beautiful Bella.

    Hang in there - sending prayers and hugs,
    Kim in Durham, NC :)

  15. Hey, sweet family...

    Nothing much to say except I'm thinking of you guys as always. Loved the pilates demonstration; it made me smile for sure!

    Blessings and peace to you -

    A friend in NC

  16. Tim and Ang,

    The pilates video was the cutest thing I have ever seen! Man do I miss that sweet angel...

    I am praying that the man with the money can come through for you, but more importantly for BELLA! She deserves people donating people in her memory.

    Tim, I'm glad you had an "aha" moment today! I'm praying that with each day you and Angelique can find more and more peace.

    As always, thanks for sharing! I'm praying daily!!

    Megan from WV

  17. It is true that you can't have life without death but, it doesn't make it any easier losing your loved ones. Especially your children. You want to be able to raise them and watch them grow into little people of their own, with their own hopes and dreams for their future. You want to watch them take their first steps, say their first words, learn to use the potty! You want to see them off to their first day of school, clean their boo boos when they fall, kiss them everyday! There is nothing like the loss of a child and I don't need to tell you that. Tim and Ang, you are both inspirations to me. I know I say that all of the time but, anytime I even think about the possibility of losing a child it brings me to tears. Both of you are so strong.

    Good job planting your seed Tim. I'm sure he'll come around and maybe he'll write a bigger check than you thought. How awesome would that be??

    Lots of Love,
    Amber, Craig, Malorie(2 1/2), and Liam(10mos.)
    The McLaughlin Family
    Moreno Valley, CA

  18. Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving Day. Hugs, Terri