Friday, December 17, 2010

December 17, 2010: If it's raining here...

Yesterday's sun has been replaced by steady rain...


... is it snowing in Durango?

I guess I could always check on, right?

Before I forget, I just want to apologize for those who have pledged to be part of Bella's Birthday Drive.  Angelique and I have both gotten SLAMMED with a mountain of work and a promotion this month, and we totally dropped the ball on following up with regular (or ANY!) emails of support, motivation, tips, etc. We will be hitting it HARD once the new year starts.  Ang has less time right now due to work, and I will have more time after the first.  I can't even begin to tell you what I am working on this month.  Suffice to say that all this work has helped both of us stay preoccupied and that helps with the grief.

UC Irvine Medical Center and Cancer Center... where I work!

This is from the roof of the parking garage... I park on the roof and take the stairs to help get my legs as "in shape" as they're gonna be for next week's skiing adventure...

For those of you that are self starters, AWESOME!  Way to go!  For those that need a nudge to get crackin', just remember, EB doesn't take a break for the holidays.  EB also doesn't quit if there is a recession.  Either way, we want to thank you all for any step you've taken so far.

For those that opted out of the challenge, those of us that are in could really use your help, too.  We need your prayers, we need your thoughts, your wishes, we need you to tell your circles and networks about our goal.  Just generating your energy toward this common goal will no doubt tip it to success.  I apologize to you for not creating this with you a month ago, it was a missed opportunity on my part to find a way to include everyone.  However, I learned a great quote last weekend which is that "DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT."  At some point, we all just gotta get started on whatever it is we want to accomplish, and as long as we're in action, that's what's most important.  The speaker was showing us some really, really... how do I put this... bad books, and he reminded us that "Bob's bad book is still better than the one you don't have or haven't written just yet!"  We laughed.  Good point!

I also realized that I haven't talked much about God or faith in a while.  That's because I haven't really talked to God or my faith in a while.  Wednesday night, after watching the special, I swore at God OUT LOUD for the first time throughout this entire journey.  It's okay, he can take it.  Just don't make it a habit, he told me.  ;-)  Seriously though, as well as I know I am doing at this point in my grief journey, I know that it will never be the same, I will always have a 17 month old daughter that went through an absolutely HORRIBLE experience only to die in the end.  Pardon my french, but that will always suck, no matter what cool things we do in memory of her.

The worst part about it is that I am caught right now in a conundrum where I don't want to not think about her, but when I look at her pictures in the office, they hurt. A LOT.  Catch 22.  Somedays, when I'm out and about and really busy, I may go for quite a while feeling good, and then suddenly the grief hits.  When it does, it's a quizzical experience.  Sometimes, it hurts and I wish it gone, but other times, it's almost a relief, like, "Oh good, I still hurt for my child."  I'm in this weird limbo right now.  I know that as I continue to do my grief work over time, the feelings of pain will no longer accompany the memories in the same intensity, frequency, or duration... but I don't want Bella to ever be "just a memory."

In other news, Ali had her flu shot yesterday and was a CHAMP!  I can't remember if I shared that last night.  Today, she saw the dentist and got a raving report!  She really has become a completely different patient but in a good way!  I was so worried that the trauma of the hospital for both her and Bella was really going to screw her up next time she had to go to the doctor, but it was quite the opposite!  WHEW!

Ali and Santa yesterday...

 Have a great weekend, and thank you so much for continuing to walk with us.  Drop us a brief comment telling us you're still there... don't worry about what to say.  Honestly it doesn't matter.  What matters is the 30 seconds of effort to return the connection.  We all just want to feel connected in life.

God night.

Ali rockin' out Christmas carols with Daddy... Lucy is not impressed as usual...

Bella, Ali, and their cousin Wilson lobotomized by the TV... 


  1. First poster! (Studying for a final this morning)
    I'm still here! Can't wait to hear from you after the 1st! Have a great day! Love the picture of Bella and those AWESOME leggings!

    Love you guys!
    Amanda Schauer (Bryce and Cory too)

  2. Good morning from Texas! Thinking about y'all. And I love Bellas stockings!

  3. heaveno!

    praying that your grief will continue to be manageable. the heartache will always be with you but with god's grace it will be become more of a dull ache than a sharp pain.

    god bless y'all!
    w-s, nc

  4. Still here, still reading, still thinking about you and your family. Really wish I could do more to support Bella's cause but right now im fighting to keep my family from drowning. One day though I vow to donate when I truly can. If it wasnt for hubby needing internet for online college that would be gone along with allt he other things we have let go so I truly can't and it sucks.. to have to scrape to even see if you can put food on the table.. Hopefully the next year is better as my job should start sometime in Jan.

  5. Still here and reading each day... always looking forward to your updates on your new life...

  6. Hi Tim!

    Letting you know that I'm still here, still connected :) Thanks for the nod to those who are "in"..I was wondering if I had missed something, lol! Using iGive, donating to PUCK monthly, trying to spread the word to cure EB.

    Busy, busy month for my family...many birthdays in Oct, Nov and Dec...just started Christmas shopping today...!!

    I want you to know that you continue to inspire me every day, and when my husband asked who all the Bella's Blessings were for this morning, I told him about how inspired I was to answer your challenge. When I talk about Bella, I am always so emotional, and he could SEE the passion I felt.

    I think he will be inspired too. We both need a shot of inspiration and passion in life right now. Thank you for being a catalyst in our growth...blessings!

  7. I wonder what happened to my comment ... I was the first one today ....and it's not here.
    Just to say that I'm always praying for the Ringgold family.

  8. Sorry, Tim, sorry that Bella is not at her place with you. All her pictures are so beatiful that it hurts.

    Take good care of yourselves, not only of the work.

    And Ali is gorgeous!


  9. I was listening to the song "Kings and Queens" by 30 Seconds to Mars this morning and I started to cry. The song made me think of Bella and what a beautiful "...queen of promise" she is and I just broke down. I never physcially got to "know" Bella but, I did fall in love with her thru your words and pictures. I came across this great quote today and I really liked it:

    "The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress." - Charles F. Kettering

    Don't worry, I don't believe that Bella will ever be just a memory for you, Ang, or Ali. She will always be your daughter and will be loved by so many!!

    I love your pictures of Ali today. Such a cute girl. I REALLY love the picture of Bella, Ali, and their cousin. That picture is PRICELESS!

    Lots of Love,
    Amber, Craig, Malorie, and Liam
    The McLaughlin Family, CA

  10. it is ok to scream at God, I do it from time to time and hav'nt been hit by lightening. I know that He has a perfect explanation for all this pain. I will be very interested in hearing it one day and IT BETTER BE GOOD.not to say I dont have the gift of faith, I do and will never lose it but hey, sometimes people need a break. Having said all of that Dawn in Canberra and friends are continuing with our prayers and brainstorming finding ways to raise money.God bless you,Ang and little Ali.

  11. Still here, not feeling very "connected" to much right now... we are fighting one sickness after another in my house and I'm also fighting the winter blues. Love the holidays but can't wait for the longer days, usually around March I start feeling more alive. ;) (And yeah, I live in southern AZ - you should have seen the basket case I turned into when I went to school in NY! :-P).

    Enough whining from me, though, off to wrap some more presents and get ready for a friend's baby's first birthday party tomorrow.

    I'm sure the next couple of weeks full of holiday stuff will be tough to face with Bella, I'll be thinking of you all.

    Cara in Tucson

  12. I meant tough *without Bella, but I'm sure you got that!

  13. Love that Ali got to have her picture taken with the real Santa. Because that guy just has to be. Wishing you peace during the holidays. And snow. But mostly peace.

    Heather, Canada

  14. Hope things settle out for y'all at work. That was a great Santa! Merry Christmas week. Thinking of you and lifting y'all up this week.

    Lauren in TX

  15. Thinking of you all and praying for God's peace to surround you during this Holy Season. Holiday's can be hard especially when you're missing someone.

    All our love to you from HCC.

  16. Still here as well - fighting off a nasty cold.

  17. I was late reading today, but just want to say that I am still here and appreciate your words and sharing! I was so happy to be able to watch the TLC special the other night. I DVR'd it and my husband and I watched it after the kids went to bed. I have shared about EB with my husband and sent him links to blogs (which he never read). Once he SAW EB, he got it. I don't think my words did the awfulness of the disease justice. He kept turning away because he couldn't watch Peyton in pain. I made him watch. While we watched, I shared with him everything I have learned about EB and the study at U of Minnesota, all about these kids I have come to know through blogs, etc. He looked at me crushed and told me if all he had was that million dollars you needed and nothing else, he would give it all to fund EB research. We want to be able to help. We are going to put our heads together and hopefully be saying, "I'm in!", in the near future!!! I am glad he now understands why my heart is so broken and why I invest so much time reading about these sweet kids, etc. Anyway, thank you! Thank you for being one of the sources of information for me about EB so I can keep sharing with others!

    PS- I hope Durango is getting more snow that the Denver area! It has be DRY! I do hear most of the mountains are getting above average snowfall, so I hope you get some good powder on your trip! =)

    Love and prayers,
    Kristi- Castle Rock, CO

  18. Still here, still thinking of you!