Tag Archives: Run for Their Lives!

Missing a Special Day

For eight years we have had a yearly tradition of participating in a yearly walk/run in memory of babies lost too soon to SIDS.  Our “Pink Lemonade” team has been there since the run’s first year.  Our tradition each year was to take our family picture with Clara’s sign.  It was a way for us to see how our family changed each year and a significant way to include Clara in that growth.  I always feared we would someday miss this event. This year we experienced that loss.

Infant loss is filled with so many “firsts” but this one is hard to put words to.  It is the first time we put Clara’s memory behind us in favor of other events.  It is surreal to know that the very last thing we held onto from South Dakota (and Clara’s past) is behind us (at least for this year).  Instead of spending the weekend with family and friends, we spent it at a pool with family and friends.  We missed out on our family picture and our yearly t-shirt swag.  We missed out of the balloon release and the kind words of remembrance.  We missed out on connecting with other SIDS families and we missed out on spending a day to just remember Clara.

And yet, we spent Saturday celebrating Clara’s rainbow.  This weekend we celebrated her brother’s first swim meet. We saw the smile of a little guy who has overcome so much!  The tiniest swimmer there who never hesitated to get on the starting blocks that stand as tall as his shoulders.  He sat with the big swimmers and listened to their advice.  We left with a different t-shirt.  One with Link’s name on it.  We got to cheer on this kid, yet it was different.

It is hard to look back and know you have to choose between your living child and your child in Heaven.  Walking around the pool today, I couldn’t help but notice the little girls trying to their hair under their caps and their goggles set.  It was one of Link’s teammates first meets too.  This little 8-year-old girl grabbed me by the hand and asked me if I could tell her when it was time to go line up.  It gave me a glimpse into what a swim experience might have been like if Clara was here today.  I so wanted to take a little selfie with that girl!! That simple, brief moment meant a lot to me.

As I look back on the weekend, I have to say thank you to everyone who made it special.  Thank you to Kevin and Tracee for walking in Clara’s memory for us!!  Your pictures left me in tears on the pool deck. Thank you to Brianne Edwards for keeping Clara’s sign and memory at the run even when we can’t make it. Thank you to the Iowa City Eels for being such a wonderful family too. Finally, thank you to everyone who thought of Clara this weekend. <3







Capture Your Grief – 2016 – Day #4

Support Circles

We all have so many support circles.  I think each circle supports us in their own unique way.  No single group can, nor should, provide all of your support. You simply can’t put all your eggs in one basket.

I once thought my husband should be my biggest support.  I quickly realized that, while he is my biggest supporter, his support is needed in other areas of my life.  Our grief was so different that he wasn’t able to be there for me in the way I needed.  It is okay to say it so let me repeat that… My husband wasn’t my biggest support in my grief.

I found my biggest support circle to be a group of bereaved moms.  They have all been through the depth of the oceans of grief.  They understand exactly how I felt.   They didn’t offer me cheeky catchphrases meant to make me feel better because they knew that a those words don’t fix anything.  They didn’t walk away because they were uncomfortable with the topic of loss. They reached out or listened when I reached out.

I haven’t met all of these girls but I hold tight to their hands.  We catch each other as we walk along the shores of the ocean.  Our toes sometimes feel the water. Every once-in-a-while we feel the waves trying to pull us out to sea again.  When that happens the hands hold tighter as they keep you close.  They aren’t “saving” you from feeling the water, sometimes you have to feel that wave to heal more.  They are simply helping you ride out the wave.

Each year we travel to the Run for Their Live’s/Walk Run Race event in honor of our babies.  We connect.  We cry.  We hug.  We support. I always appreciate when I see dads connecting too.   The past eight years of support has shown so many rainbows along the shore. That is what makes every mile of the drive to South Dakota worth it! I am so thankful for our friends, family, and even strangers who have been supportive through this journey. To those who meet us for the run, send us reminders that they thought of Clara, and to everyone who follows this journey every October… Thank you!

Thank you for standing by and holding my hand in person and in spirit.



ps:  Happy 8th Anniversary to my loving husband.  Thank you for supporting me in everything no matter how difficult it is.  Your ability to encourage me and let me search out the best support circles is nothing short of awesome.  I am in awe at the last 8 years and all we have made it through.
I <3 You!


The CarlyMarie Project – Day 8


When Clara passed and as I work with families, I realize there aren’t a lot of resources out there that really understand the sudden loss of a baby.  I found groups for miscarriage and a couple of groups for parents that have lost much older children.  I found that neither of those groups were as helpful for me as they were for others.

Day 20 Charity or Organization

Thank goodness Brianne sent us a care package from Lach’s Legacy!!  Her gift and then the “1st Annual Run for Their Lives!”,  held just 2 weeks after Clara’s passing, were what I needed to know I wasn’t alone in this.  I ran with a man who had lost his nephew several years ago.  He listened to my story while he encouraged me to keep running and finish.  Although I don’t know his name, when I feel overwhelmed I think of our conversation and how many times he encouraged me.  It brings a smile to my heart to know that a stranger took the time to help.

Run for Their Lives!

I am so thankful that Brianne continues to hold the “Run for Their Lives!” each year.  Her dedication to the event is amazing.  It is at the run that we get our family picture every year. We look forward to it!  Even though we are a ways from home, we will be back every June for as long as she keeps it going.  Thank you Bri for your love and support!!


There is another resource and community that I have found very helpful is the group of ladies who support each other online.  This amazing group isn’t really a group but is a great web of support when you need it.  Thank you to Tanya and Sara, the 2 very best ladies who chat anytime, anywhere, and help in so many ways!!!  Others who have touched my life include Lisa, Dana, Melinda, Michele, Melissa, Kari, Carrie, Kristi, Pat, Jeanie, and all those not mentioned that have shared their journey of losing a precious child.