::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


Home from Dreams

We made it home.  We had a nice time and the beaches were beautiful.  I know I made it sound like we were going on a cruise, but we actually stayed at a resort in Cabo.  It was our first time doing so.  I enjoyed the one we chose because it was really good for families.  They have a 'kids club', which was included and Finn loved.  He wanted to go there instead of swimming with us some days.  The resort we stayed at was called "Dreams".  The food was okay, the bottled water wasn't very good... but where we live I can honestly say has the best tasting water from the tap ever!  So, nothing can top it, and I'm a huge water drinker so my water matters.  

We walk funny.  It's just the way it is.  I'm so happy to be walking (and toileting myself) that it doesn't bother or embarrass me one bit.  But when you are staying at an all-inclusive resort walking funny comes across as something completely different :).  Also, when you walk with a limp after a full day your back and hips can begin to ache.  One night, I was walking up the small hill to the main lobby, which led to our room.  I had both hands on my lower back, and I passed a woman who nicely and casually asked, "Long day?".  I awkwardly sorta laughed and said something I don't remember.  But I wanted to say, "no, I'm newly handicap and my lower back is killing me from walking with a limp, and my eyes look so tired because I cry every single day-all the time because my baby isn't here with us anymore & my heart and soul literally ache for him every second.  Because somebody who had no business driving decided to drive a Suburban & hit our car head-on... and did I mention that it was on Christmas Eve".  

That's what I wanted to say again another night when some men behind me were having a laugh at me walking the way I do up the same hill (ramps/hills are not fun on our knees we learned), about how tired I must be.  

It doesn't offend me when things like this happen.  It's just my personality to explain 'why' and that I didn't binge drink all day and trip & fall, that's not 'why' I walk like this.  I walk like this proudly because I lied in a hospital bed for 7 weeks wishing to walk in any way possible. Practically scraping the windows to get out. I guess I just want them to know that no, actually I've gone to hell and back... so shut the hell up and give me a pat on the back, even a high five, a slap on the butt I could handle.  

We got to lay on hammocks on the beach, something we've never done before.  Something I've fantasized about for, well my entire life.  I listened to books on my kindle and closed my eyes while the waves crashed along the beach.  Finn conquered his fear of being in water that he can't touch the bottom of (with floaties on) by himself with nobody holding him!  He would swim across the entire gigantic pool, this made us very happy.  Finn, isn't a daredevil, climber, or rough & tumble type.  He's a cautious, funny, thoughtful, and adventurous type.  On the 3rd day I got some sort of flu (I swear leave it to me to get sick).  Ryan and Finn went and built a huge sandcastle which he captured on our video camera which is out of batteries and I have yet to watch.  We got really tan, Ryan actually doesn't have a hint of 'farmer tan' on him.  This is the 1st time since I've known him.  Except for the sock line, he has to wear tennis shoes so he can wear his AFO so he can walk.  His hip was broken and his sciatic nerve was damaged so he has something called foot drop.  His left foot just hangs there kinda like in a pointed position.  He can't move it.  He can't flex it.  He can't feel most of it and a lot of his left leg.  But, when he wears his shoes and AFO it enables him to walk almost normal.  If he doesn't wear it, he has to lift up his left leg pretty high so he can flop that foot up and around flat again.  <---I couldn't type that without laughing.  It's really funny to watch.  Poor bugger has to wear shoes all day long and doesn't take them off until right before he goes to sleep.  Oh, don't worry he makes fun of me all the time too.  We make fun of each other and do impressions of each other's new walks.  But since his sciatic nerve wasn't severed his feeling and flexing should come back again.  Nerve damage just takes a very long time to heal... years even.  

Ryan walking without his tennis shoes on :) Go Ryan!

Finn's 1st time at 'swim' beach.  Loved it!

On our vacation I learned that my highest happiness level can't get quite to a 10.  It can only get to about a 5.  I know in time when I get better at playing my piano it will get up to a 10 again.  I was able to get to a 5 a few times and it felt nice.  I felt sad a lot because every meal we went to and the hostess asks how many it's now 3, not 4.  Dropping off only 1 child at the kids club, not 2.  Wrestling matches on the bed and feeling like something's missing.  Watching other families with more than 1 child, and the parents trying to wrangle the little ones while the older misbehave.  I miss the chaos of having 2.  I miss taking deep breaths and telling myself it will get easier and I can do this.  I miss having to buckle up 2 carseats.  I miss 2 brothers laughing at something secret.  I miss telling the hostess 4.

More pics from our trip...

We bought Finn a batman costume and Dad a mask from the beach vendors...

Family picture in front of the famous arch by lover's beach.

Alone time with the Man of the house.

Living out my hammock dreams and Finn in his floaties.


  1. Kelly, (I am a Stranger!) but you are absolutely beautiful! You have such a beautiful family! I have followed your story since December. Little Colum looked like a pure angel here on earth, (I have seen pictures) I can imagine in Heaven he is looking down on you with a big smile! I am glad you got a small trip away from home! You pics from the Hammock look absolutely wonderful, that is actually a dream of mine too! I am sorry your pain both physical and and emotional is still so raw! I wish there was a way to bring your little one back! Thinking of you and your family always and sending you cyber hugs!

  2. Oh It was so fun, just what the doctor ordered!!!!!! Sleeping in like crazy, room service and just relaxing. And yes like Kelly says...... I was the weird guy on the beach (socks and shoes on the beach) the thing about the sand castle is that once I was sitting on the sand I then realized that I may not be able to get stood back up, so........ All the sand came from one spot so I could make myself a deep enough hole to put my feet in so I could stand up!!! Glad the tide didn't rise!!!!
    Ohh how I whisk Kelly was not sick so she could have been there. And wished that our little Magoo was there with us!!!! He would have loved the beach.

  3. I'm so glad you were able to live out your hammock fantasy. There's just something about a hammock and a beach, right?!

    I am so sorry about the looks and comments in regards to the way you walk. If only we could all have a sign that explains why we are the way we are or why we just accidentally cut someone off on the freeway or why are eyes are swollen and red from crying...But it just puts life into perspective when we look inside and realize that people struggle. They hurt. And we're all here trying to do our best and make it through things that are almost unbearable.

    I think I realized this when this week my sister-in-law had a massive stroke. They had to remove part of her brain. She's only 35. It's going to be a very long recovery, but she's a fighter. As I tried to cover up my sorrow for her (big ol sunglasses indoors) I noticed the funny looks too. But if only those people knew how sad I was for my sis.

    After this and after reading your post, my hope is that I can always try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Like I said, we're just doing our best to get through this sometimes rough life.

    Thanks for continuing to inspire me!!

  4. Kelly, it was good to see you smile. You look very pretty. I think it was very brave of you to go to where people don't know you and you have to sort of "go back into the world." It can not be too nice sometimes. I am sure it was wonderful for Finn to experience the ocean and build sandcastles with his dad (amazing dad!!).

    I ached for you when you said that you miss brothers laughing at a secret joke and telling people that you are three instead of two. I am so sorry. I have cried a lot for you since I learned about your story in Jan, I do so wish that things could be different.

    You're a special, wonderful, strong, thoughtful, brave, hero of a mom to get up everyday and live. I cherish your spirit.

  5. It was so great to see your family! I really needed to see for myself how you are, and I was amazed and proud to see you walking on your own two feet! It is a reflection of your hard work and determination. No doubt you will be able to overcome and achieve all your personal goals. It's been said before, but you and Ryan are truly amazing!

    This is such a good lesson for all of us. When we see someone who is struggling in any way, it should be a signal that we need to treat those folks with extra kindness and compassion. I really believe it is just a manifestation of fear when people behave badly around those who have challenges. When someone sees a young, beautiful person with an obvious physical challenge, I think it's a frightening reminder that we humans are fragile, and that everyone is subject to injury and pain. People sometimes tend to avert their eyes or even act with scorn or ridicule. They, too, have a handicap.

    My nephew passed away 3 years ago after spending his 25 years in a wheelchair due to spina bifida. Oh how we love and miss Sam! I witnessed people talking in front of him as if he didn't have ears. Once a man came up and asked my sister about him, saying "We aborted 'one of those.'" I was horrified! But it became clear that the man had some unresolved issues about his loss. Apparently it had been his wife's exclusive decision, and he didn't feel he had much say in the matter. He could see that Sam was a happy vibrant person (though he continued to talk about him as if he weren't there). I later realized the man needed our compassion as much as Sam deserved sensitivity and respect. I was proud of my sister for her patience as she answered his questions and let him know what kind of person Sam was and that he had a full and meaningful life, despite his limitations.

    It's a wonderful thing that you are willing to share your story with strangers, Kelly, that you make sure people know what an awful thing happened, that Colum lived and made the world a better place. Cry your honest tears and keep up your resolve to be well and strong in spite of it all. You are greatly loved and admired by so many people, both friends and strangers, who have been touched by your experiences.

    Huge waves of love coming from my part of the world to you!

  6. You guys look so cute :) Glad you could get away and watch Finn having fun. I am so sorry that you didn't have 2 little boys to watch having fun. Glad you got back safe.

  7. Wahoo!! What an awesome special vacation! I too LOVE your smile and the happiness your eyes seemed to shine, despite the pain that you feel daily, hourly or every minute! And damn the folks that judge and don't understand. Thank you for being so honest!

    Much love and comfort sent your way!

  8. Kelly,
    What a beautiful family you have, and you are beautiful!! Thank again for always sharing! You truly lift my spirits by your strength. I truly admire you!
    Lots of Love from Southern Utah!

  9. You all are such an amazing family! I think about you often (from Virginia!) and I will never forget your precious baby boy. He is looking down on you and is proud of your strength. When reading about the clueless people and their comments, I thought that maybe you could have little cards in your purse. All you'd have to do is walk over, smile, and hand the person your card. It could say, "Remember Colum & make today count. Have compassion for others & what they go through" with your blog address or a summary of your story. Because people are so clueless and if they actually knew all that you had gone through maybe they'd start to look at things differently in the world. Much love to you and your family!

  10. Truly, we never know what someone is going through, do we? You have learned that at a young age, and I had to, too. Missing someone at a restaurant, or in family pictures -- the sting of those has yet to go away and it's been almost 8 years since my baby passed away. But I am better at dealing with that sting. Most of the time it's not debilitating. Most of the time I am OK to get over an insensitive or ignorant comment.

    I'm happy your family got this little break. You are beautiful!

  11. Love your lips Kel! I remembered a line from a song from my younger days in primary:

    If you don't walk as most people do, some people talk and laugh at you but I won't, I won't.

    I won't, Kel.

  12. I know I have mentioned this to you many times that you are strong and you truly are!!!! I know I would have turned around and gave those men a piece of my mind and told them everything... I truly commend you!! Keep playing your piano girl!! The pics are great and you all looked great! I'm glad that you were able to get to a 5 and enjoy it.
    Thank you for telling us about your vacation and sharing your pics!

  13. Fun pictures! I am so happy you guys got to get away, luv ya - kimmie

  14. Oh bless you! Thank you for sharing about your vacation. You inspire me, and I appreciate the spirit in which you write. I'll be praying for you all!
    Sue, NYC