Sunday, September 11, 2011

September

If you are a longtime reader, you know my feelings about September.  You know that my anxiety starts in early August and doesn't subside for weeks as we head towards my least favorite day of the year--September 13th.  September 13, 2004 was the worst day of my life.  Yes, this year has been tough.  2011 will go down in my books as a really tough year that I overcame (see that optimism right there?).  But NOTHING compares to 2004.  Nothing compares to watching my daughter go through chemotherapy, 85 blood transfusions, a stem cell transplant, and so so much more.  Nothing compares to losing my nine month old baby girl to this horrible disease called cancer. 

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.  I do what I can to promote this.  My school is sponsoring Heroes for Children and getting involved with the 5K Run/Walk.  I'll be out there on race day with my girls.  I want September to get as much awareness as possible about childhood cancer and what families go through.  However, at times, I just wish September just simply didn't exist. 

I decided to take off Tuesday for Allie Day, as we call it around here.  Frances (Andrew's mom), my mom and I are taking the girls to the zoo to see our favorite animal.  Must see the giraffes on Allie Day!  Hoping we can even feed the giraffes that you can do at the Dallas Zoo.  I try to make it fun for the girls each year and do something as a family.  Our family is a different dynamic this year, but I will still make it as fun as possible for my girls.  Maggie doesn't truly understand what Allie Day is significant for.  She is excited that Allie Day is this week and happy about our plans.  Andrew will get them around 5:15 or so Tuesday night for his normal night with them.  I'm sure he'll try to do something with them too.  This is the first year we haven't had a family dinner.  Luckily, my sweet friend Nikki is taking time away from her own family to have dinner with me.  We'll go to dinner and then I might meet up with a few other people afterwards. 

What I dread is coming home that night to an empty house of just me and Brandy. 

It's been 7 years since I last saw my baby girl.  I miss that cherub blue-eyed giraffe loving girl just as much as I did on September 14, 2004 when I woke up without her on that first day.  The pain is different.  I don't wake up every morning thinking of her right away anymore.  My mind first goes to her pretty and fun sisters.  I don't cry all the time.  It's a dull ache that is always with me.  It just gets magnified around this time. 

I'm doing alright.  I promise, even though this blog post is fairly sad.  The girls and I had an AWESOME and fun weekend all together. It was nonstop fun and Maggie declared the best part of it was "spending time with you, Mama."  Work is insane but terrific and I have some of the greatest people in my life.  I have way more good than bad in my life and I have memories of that beautiful girl that I cherish every day. 

Thank you for your positive comments and support lately.  They mean the world to me.  Keep them coming and WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS

61 comments:

Robin said...

I can't imagine this day will get any easier but I think Allie's Day is a great idea and hopefully, you build more happy memories on this day then sad. I remember this day as well, like it was yesterday, and can't imagine how hard it must be for you. My thoughts are with you and Allie is always in my heart....she's left her mark on all of us.....big hugs.

Carolina said...

This is so very moving. I can't even begin to imagine what this feels like, but I can certainly recognize something that's beautifully expressed.

It's also great that given the sadness this month represents you're still able to stay positive and see the silver lining in your life, as it is now.

I wish nothing but the best to you and your precious girls. And here's to hoping September moves along quickly.

*Hugs* (@midulcevida_ on Twitter)

Peggy said...

I am a lurker who has been around since the babycenter days. My daughter was born just 3 days after Allie. I don't comment much, but just wanted to tell you I'm thinking of you in this most painful month. You've been through a lot and your grace and dignity have survived. Allie would be proud of her mama.

Hayley said...

Hi Jenny,
I have the same feelings about September as you do. My dad, Ted Wren's birthday is 9/7 and he died on 9/10. I can hardly look at the calendar on those days. I remember you and your sweet girl and those days leading up to the 10th like they were yesterday. Kudos to you for taking off Allie Day and celebrating her with your girls. I will be thinking of you all on the 13th. I am so impressed with the work you have done to honor Allie and other children through HFC and am so glad to hear that you are back in the classroom.
Best,
Hayley Wren

njmomto3boys said...

I too have been around since the Babycenter days. My son was born on December 7th and my due date was the 17th. You are an amazing person - an inspiration!!! I wish you peace and comfort through September and I pray that Allie Day is filled with love, memories (both new and old) and peace for you!!! There are many people praying for you and rooting you on!!HUGS!!!

lovesmytwo said...

I too have been around since baby center days . I can't help but think of you each year and tune into your life. Much love to you and your girls. You truly are acing and continue to be an inspiration to me after all these years . (((hugs)))

4suns4me said...

I too have been with you since babycenter. My son is a December 5th baby. I am so amazed by the strength and grace you have shown, and continue to show throughout the years. I always think of you in September, and beautiful little Allie. Enjoy "Alllie day" with your sweet loves.

Toes in the sand said...

Allie will never be forgotten, Jenny. Her memory lives on in, not just you and your beautiful family, but in so many of us who have shared in your journey. Take care of you! xoxo

JNSexton555 said...

I have followed your story since mid 2004, and I have reveled in your delights, and cried with your heartaches. Just know that another Momma is out there thinking of you and all three of your beautiful girls! I hope you enjoy "Allie Day", and that it is a tradition that your daughters continue.

Karen said...

Jenny, I followed Allie's journey. I cried with you on that sad day.

Enjoy your Allie Day with your beautiful daughters.

Hugs, Karen

Nikki said...

I struggle to find the right words to say, Jenny. I'm forever grateful to Allie for the friendship that she "gave" me. But I would give it all up in a second for her to be here with you again.

I'm honored that you asked me to have dinner with you Tuesday night. Seriously. Humbled and honored.

Love you, friend.

Crabby Tabby said...

Thinking of you during this difficult time...

linda said...

Jenny, I too have followed you since Allie was first diagnosed. You are an amazingly strong woman and I know this is a really bad time for you. Hang on to your girls and they will help you through this month. So glad you are back teaching.Linda

Aimee said...

After all these years, you continue to amaze me with your strength and optimism! I heard that song on the radio just yesterday and I thought of you. You brought awareness of childhood cancer and leukemia to my life and I will run my first half marathon with TNT in 2 weeks! Allie is on my mind and I will never forget. Thinking about you this week....

Dawn @ Life Unscripted said...

Sweet Allison!! What a precious and beautiful Angel she is. Your lucky to have an amazing angel. (not lucky, but lucky if that makes sense.)

My thought are always with you on Allie Day.

Ashlee said...

I don't comment much- but I still love to follow your sweet family. My heart aches for all you're going through. You're doing such a great job!
I've had babies around the same times you had all of yours. I still ache for your each September. I remember well holding my baby that night and crying for you, aching, knowing that I'd always remember to hold her a little tighter. I hope you know that you have made a difference to many people. I appreciate your being open about all your feelings, so people sitting behind a screen somewhere can share with you in your life. Your life has made a difference in mine. You are strong, you're amazing, and your sweet Allie has helped me to be a better mom. My thoughts are with you this week. Here's hoping you feel the love of so many. Hang in there!

Her Frugal Ways said...

I'm thinking about you now and always. I hardly ever comment, but you are doing awesome. I have been following you since 2004. I was part of the group on yahoo? I can't even remember. But you amaze me. You are beautiful and I know Allie is smiling down on you and all the work you have done over the years to raise awareness for Cancer.

maisy said...

Hi Jenny,

I am also an old school BabyCenter follower, with your old blog bookmarked, so I could check on Allie's treatments each morning. You are incredible and I love that you wrote "a really tough year that I overcame". That inspires me. 2011 has been the worst year of my life.

In Dec 2010, my 2003 baby girl, Katie, lost her friend to a drunk driver. It was so hard to understand why. She began sleeping in our bed. Jan 2011 a very dear uncle of mine, a Catholic priest, died at 62 from early onset Alzheimer's. A week late in Feb, my best friend died from leukemia (ALL), leaving 4 children behind, all my kids' friends. A week after she died, my oldest child left for Navy boot camp. It was a tough time, and I didn't have my friend to support me. My Katie ended up back in our beds after her "favorite brother" left. I still miss him terribly.

Now my next son, just entering high school, is getting into troubles no parent wants to face.

Its been a really crappy year. But I am going to overcome it. I've never lost a child and I've never been divorced, and I can't imagine how hard its been for you. If you can say you overcame it, then so can I.

Thanks, Jenny

gretchen said...

I woke up thinking of you and Allie this morning. I am so sad for your long, aching Septembers.

Lyndsay said...

Thinking about you this week...

tricia said...

I have followed you since Allie was sick. Hard to believe its been seven years. I will be thinking of you on Allie's Day and hoping you are surrounded with lovng support.

~~Mel~~ said...

Thinking of you and yours on Allie Day and every other day too. You are truly an inspiration Jenny.

LisaWV said...

Thinking about you so much this week. Hugs to you!

One crazed mommy said...

Thinking of you this month, especially tomorrow! Big hugs to you - you are amazing and strong, and have overcome so much!

. said...

I too have been with you since BabyCenter, and am in awe of your strength.

I still cry every time I hear that Green Day song and hold my babies that much tighter. (Ok, I'm weeping now)

You and Allie are never far from my thoughts and b/c of both of you, I am a better mom for all you have been through and the grace that you move forward with.

Laura

LoveMyGirls0311 said...

Jenny,

I have followed your story since you announced Allie's cancer on BBC way back in 2004. I have a Dec'04 baby. I haven't been on to check on you in a while, but Sept 13th is engrained in my mind. I followed you story all the way to the end and continue to follow. I was shocked to see that you and Andrew got a divorce, but know that you are an amazing woman and will get through this. I'm glad to see that things are going well in your life. Your girls are beautiful and I wish you nothing but the best.

Donna said...

I never understand how things can happen so long ago but still feel so fresh. Saying some extra giraffe prayers tonight.

dee said...

Can't help but think about you all during September. I know she was your sweet baby girl and no one misses her like you but gosh I loved and prayed for that baby too! I remember reading your post about her being gone and just sitting there with tears rolling down my face and a deep pain in my stomach that did not go away for weeks. To this day, I always think ALLIE when I see a butterfly! She touched so many lives...she was just special like that and she lives on in the hearts of many!
Big hugs, Jenny. Though we have never met, I feel a connection to you guys and only wish the best for you. Hang in there, sweet lady and celebrate Allie as only you can!!! Big hugs and thank you for letting us "know" your forever angel.

Laura said...

I have posted this several times before as a blog comment to you, and sometimes I wonder if I should hold back, in case you think it is strange...

Allie's story touched me SO deeply. I read your website multiple times a day. I prayed, I walked Light the Night in her honor, and I cried the day she became an angel. I just couldn't comprehend how something SO tragic could happen.

7 years later, I have my own 2 year old daughter, whom I named Allison (and yes, it's after your daughter), and unfortunately, I finally get it, after my 29 (at the time) year old sister suffered sudden cardiac arrest while teaching her 7th grade spanish class. She was resuscitated, but she now has a brain injury and will likely never teach again. My life was turned upside down and inside out. I just want you to know that I still check your blog daily, and I still think of you and pray for you and your family often. I know our circumstances are COMPLETELY different, but the sadness is likely similar. I just know that when I am feeling really sad and lonely, it helps to know that there are other people out there that can somewhat understand.

So I guess my whole point is: I get it. I wish I didn't, but I do.

As always, thoughts, prayers, and love. I wish I had half of your strength.

BestofSeven said...

Wishing you a September 13th filled with only the best of memories of your dear Allie.

Emma said...

Another long time follower that knows how hard this month is for you. Praying for a wonderful Allie day and a quick end to September. (((hugs)))

Theresa said...

(((( hugs )))) Jenny. I understand only to well how much you can dislike a month, i hate January for the same reasons.
It's hard to believe it's been so long since we were bringing you food at the hospital, standing outside with candles and eagerly awaiting every update on how Allie's day had been. I'll never forget the phonecall i got from your Mom telling me she had passed away it still breaks my heart thinking of how she sounded.
You will be in my heart and thoughts tomorrow and in the days ahead as you go through this heartache with so many things changed this year. I'm thankful you have good people around you to love and cherish you in the hard times as well as the good. Please know i'm also thinking of your Mom, i know this is terribly hard for her too.

SusieQ said...

I think of you and Allie every time I hear that song and you are your sweet girls will certainly be in my thoughts tomorrow. You have been through so much in your life and you seem to take each hardship that you have endured and learn from it, take something away. I admire you for that.

Kelly Hermann said...

Jenny, I will be thinking of you and your family tomorrow, on Allie Day. I will say a prayer that your evening home alone with Brandy after dinner will be less painful than you are anticipating it will be. You are an incredibly strong woman and I admire that you have used such a tragic event in your life to bring so much hope to others. Allie is proud of you for honoring her and her short time on this earth.

Sending virtual hugs from NY...

Kelly

Ashley H. said...

I'm who I am today because of Allie. I think of her often. Every time I hear the dreaded Green Day song, I turn to another station. When I hear Wonder by Natalie Merchant though, I can't help but smile and sing along, although it always ends in tears. When I think back, I can remember specific things about your updates on Allie, and how my mood each day literally hung on what was posted. It makes me so sad, and even more sad to realize that you lived it every single day alongside her. I could never say thank you enough for sharing your sweet girl. You're in my prayers.

gnome517 said...

i also think of your family when i hear that natalie merchant song. hugs to you on tuesday!! :) may you feel the love from your interwebz!

Ginny Deegan said...

I can't listen to that song without crying. It's pretty incredible how Allie touched the lives of so many who had never even met her. I remember sobbing and feeling like my heart was being ripped out as I read some of your last updates. I can't fathom how you must feel. Just know I'm thinking of you and hope you and your girls have a special Allie Day.

Mommyroo said...

Thinking of you today Jenny....

Krista said...

Thinking about you today!

Ashlee said...

Thinking of you today!!!

Emily said...

Sending you lots of thoughts on Allie Day!!

Robin said...

Thinking of you today.

Emily Gore said...

So much love to you, Jenny. Ive "known" you since we were pregnant on babycenter. Ive followed every blog post. Ive smiled at your good days and cried through the bad. I remember the day Allie died. I mark every Sept 13 on my calender. I have a pic on my fridge of her in a dress I sent to you. She remains in my heart, as do you. I am so very sorry. Please know you are in my prayers. Love and hugs from North Myrtle Beach, SC.

snekcip said...

Allie, you are so loved baby girl, we love you, we miss you, we celebrate you. You were a "true glimpse" of God's most sweetest angel. Missing you always

Myshel said...

That song always reminds me of you.
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers every day, but more so in Sept.

HUGS,
The Power house

TX Mommy said...

Thinking about you today Jenny. Hoping that your Allie Day with your girls and Mom is nice and full of new memories. Hugs

Christina said...

Thinking about you today. Your Allie inspires me to cherish my children every day. Many thoughts for you and your family.

The Hoodies said...

Jenny,

I am praying for you, Andrew, Maggie, Katie, and the rest of your family, even Brandy :). Praying that joy and comfort finds you. I was talking to my husband about you and Allie, as I often do, and I told my husband that as much as I adore today (our third child was born), it breaks my heart that you or any parent has to relive this day for the rest of your years.

May you have only wonderful memories today. You are all loved!

Stacey said...

I will be thinking of you today along with your girls. I've been reading your blog since the beginning as my son was a Feb 2004 baby and I found you on Babycenter.
I know things have changed for you this year and it's gonna be rough but you are a strong willed lady and you will get through all of it.

I listened to that song when my Dad passed away 9/18/06 so I always remember it when it's September because I just want it to END as well.

HUGS to you all.

TPPmommyof3 said...

I know this year is particularly hard. You have been on my mind all day! I hope you are enjoying time with your girls right now. I hope tonight comes with wine and cake! Order cake and take it home with you. Cake fixes few things... but returning to home with cake, hardly makes it empty!

Really though, I am remembering sweet Allie today. I read through her blog this morning. What a precious baby!! Her life really is something to be celebrated!!
OMG, that face!!

She is with you today, not the way she should be... but she is definitely as close as she can be. Reading thru the blog, the pictures really show how much she loved her family. She had a look when you were holding her, even if she was sleeping. She knew her mama had her. She looked somehow more peaceful. Her face calmer, shoulders more relaxed.

Enjoy Allie Day!! Know you are being covered in positive thoughts and prayers. I hope your friends are able to show you a great time and that your girls (all 3 of them) make your afternoon great!!

Sarah said...

Thinking about you today .. Can't even imagine the range of emotions you are having to deal with on this very emotional day for you.

You are an inspiration to so many of us.

Piglet said...

Thinking of you today, as are so many others. You live life so courageous and beautifully and Allie is one of the major reasons you are the woman you are today - simply amazing.

mominca said...

I've been following your blog since the Babycenter days. I also have a December 2003 baby. I just wanted you to know that I am thinking about you and your family today.

Cindy said...

I've followed for 7 years, and I am thinking of you today. Allie will never be forgotten. I realize that we do not know eachother, but I am wondering if you wouldn't mind emailing me so I can ask your advice on something that we have in common.
cindy.luna@yahoo.com

Keep your chin up Jenny :)

. said...

((((HUGS)))) today!

Laura

timi68 said...

Oh Jenny...thinking of you and your precious blue eyed, raspberry blowing, giraffe loving baby girl Allie today...and always!! There hasn't been a September in the last 7 yrs that I haven't thought of you and could NEVER hear "wake me up when September ends without thinking of you and crying. You and your story made such an impact in my life and I'll forever be grateful to you. I remember like it was yesterday...waiting up late at night for an update...that dreadful day...when Allie took her last breath and then tricked you all and waited for her babysitter to come before the "real" last one. I couldn't sleep for days after that....I cried and cried for you and your loss and I'll never forget braiding my 5 yr olds hair that next day and hugging her 100 times cause you were never going to do that with Allie. Even though it's been 7 yrs, the emotions are still raw for many of us who followed you from the beginning. I'm glad you're having "Allie" day with your precious girls. Honoring Allie is a wonderful idea and I hope you all will have fun. Btw, do you still see any "Allie" butterflies?!?!
Thinking of you today and always and sending you millions of hugs......

Lisa11674 said...

Thinking of you today as you spend "Allie Day" with your family. I, too, have been with you since the babycenter days and you still amaze me. I do understand dreading a certain month or time of year. For me its November, the month my own baby girl was born and passed. I hope you find peace today. Lots of hugs...

dereksmommie said...

Jenny, I have followed you since Allie and I have felt like I know you as a person and mostly as a mom.. I can't imagine how you feel today, but I can tell you that we are all here for you in any form you need us to be.. Your sweet Angel is still with you and a part of you, even though you cannot physically feel her.. Please know that we are here and love you all..
You are never alone...

Jeanne Caputo said...

Thinking of you and your family on Allie Day! Saying some prayers for your peace and comfort...You continue to amaze and inspire me- I have been a long time follower and truly admire your bravery and dignity when handling everything that has been thrown your way.
Much love to you and your girls!

LaJodster said...

I hope Allie day was ok for you and your girls. I think of you every time I hear that song.... Wishing you peace in your memories of Sweet Allie....
Many hugs being sent to you from NJ!
Jody & my puppy Chevy in NJ

LisaLynch17 said...

Hi Jenny. I have only posted a few times over the last almost 8 years but I read your blog all the time. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I too just got divorced with little kids. In fact, your post about changing your bedroom around gave me inspiration to do mine! Thank you! You continue to inspire me and motivate me. Here's to you!
ot