::pack:: of fixations

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



I recently received an email from a mother via the Kellypack.com blog.  She said that her son just watched Colum's funeral video at a DUI class and came home and told her about it.  She was wondering if there's a way to access it online because she would like to watch it.  I responded and  she said, Thanks so much for your quick response. The video made an impact on my son! I'm so sorry for your loss but your little angel is touching many lives here on earth
may his memory be eternal!

K**** P****
new orleans

(We have the same initials)

New Orleans!  I love the funeral video.  The video for me helps me remember.  During the funeral we both had a nurse by our sides and they were injecting pain meds in our veins, plus we both had morphine pumps.  I had absolutely no idea that they were filming anything of the sorts and neither did Ryan.  I remember Ryan telling me that our friend emailed it to him to okay it before it was released to the public.  For some reason on our ipad's it was incredibly slow and I remember Ryan saying he was only able to watch a little bit but it looked really good.  I didn't bother watching it for a few days or more.  I completely forgot about it for quite a while.  The very beginning was so incredibly hard I'm tearing up as I type this sentence.  I was so used to being a Mom and took all of Colum's snuggles for granted.  I dare say he was one of the most cuddliest children to have walked this earth.  And for that to get ripped from your arms in an instant was traumatic, painful, and a shock to my body and soul.  I had to hold in my emotions because it physically hurt to cry due to broken ribs, internal injuries, and recently being cut open to repair that (I have a zipper).  Every time I would cry my chest would tremble causing excruciating pain signals to my brain, while my swollen broken heart would send a conflicting green light.   I had him email me the link to the video to me and the entire thing played just fine on my phone.  I watched it roughly 50x's a day at least.  I was able to relive the most horrible day over and over.  Normally, you don't want to do that but it's so beautiful.  I particularly like the 1st half because I get to see him.  I didn't know I was going to get to hold him.  He felt different.  I can't describe the feeling of when they closed his casket.  I wish I didn't have to be on morphine during my baby's funeral.  We sang Itsy Bitsy Spider because he loved that song.  I went to my 1st parent teacher conference a few weeks ago and the teacher told me that was Finn's favorite song.  It's 6 months today since we had to take the cuddliest boy in the world off life support. 

A special thanks to Kenny Bozich, and Josh Waldron for making that video.  It's being shown at DUI classes and making an impact.  Hopefully helping people to make better decisions.  

I'm not a journal writer and had recently started this blog.  I can't remember if I've ever explained this but when I started documenting our accident and our thoughts I didn't expect anybody to read it.  I remember Ryan and I were lying in our beds on floor 6 and I said, "I'm already forgetting, I don't want to forget, I need to write stuff down".  Where should I write?  We were both given ipads from people on his side of the family (thank you, they saved us), and I was going to write things down in the notes section.  But then I remembered, "Ryan, duh I'm gonna write everything down in our family blog.  That way it won't get lost!".  I had never told a single soul about our family blog, I think I had 2 followers.  I never even told my Mom about it.  My dear cousin (Char, thank you so much), ingeniously started the kellypack.com site and had linked our family blog to it... she probably saw it on my Facebook page or something.  

I remember getting my first few comments and being so shocked and yet, so.... loved.  Every post brought more and more comments from people from all over the world wishing us well, sending prayers, and all their love.  I was so broken.  I felt so helpless and trapped in my hospital room walls.  All of the comments from everybody helped lift me up, it gave me hope, it helped give my pain and suffering a sort of worthiness to all my thoughts and feelings.  All the love from all my Angels helping me through the hardest time of my life saved me from becoming a victim and made me strong.  When I think back to the darkest hours, it was the comments that gave me light.  My loved ones being near, my 2 oldest sisters staying up all night and pushing my morphine button for me every 20 minutes because nobody else believed me that my right hand was broken (so I couldn't push it for myself).  My sister told me I would just cry when I woke up, I would ask who was there and beg them not to leave me.  I would cry for my Mom, for Ryan, and I would cry for Colum.  

This blog has helped me so much and I appreciate all the comments and for everybody who stops by to read and check-in.  I have become so inspired by the endless amounts of love people have shown.  Just our physical therapy copay is more than our mortgage payment per month.  Thank you to everybody that has helped us and continues to help us.  Life really is beautiful.  I don't know what the next 6 months will bring.  I'm absolutely terrified for Christmas time.  And I'm even more terrified that they bring out Christmas stuff before Halloween's over but I know you all will help me.  I hope my story has a happy ending.  I know I will grow stronger.  And I pray that I'm pregnant by next Summer...cross your fingers! :)


walk and hair update

Here is the link on Facebook if you'd like to know more info on the walk for Colum's Birthday.  I'm pretty terrible at Facebook, I don't know how to do the simplest things.  I'm sorry it took me so long to post it.  Also, I'm expecting a 75% chance of being a raging bawl baby, or if I'm not bawling on the outside, I will probably be broken into 10 trillion pieces on the inside.  Don't have high expectations if you are going to be meeting me for the first time.  I'm really just a mess and on this day I will probably be a bigger mess than usual.  But, please come say hi...knowing that I'm a mess.  And don't you worry about being in last place because there's a huge chance that will be us :)

Also, I need to do an update on my hair situation.  It stopped falling out so there's a little bit left on my head.  The little bit I have is extremely frizzy and weird.  I've been using Ovation Hair Therapy and love it!  Especially when I keep the treatment in overnight.  It really helps my hair that I have look so much better and fuller.  I ordered it, completely planning on sending it back but I'm not.  If you have extremely thin hair, I recommend it.  It comes with a money back guarantee!  I also ordered a Halo from Halo Hair Extensions in the UK.  (Thanks to some one who commented on this blog!!!)  I really like it for several reasons.  1). It's easy to put in & take out.  2). It totally stays curled so I don't have to curl it very often. 3). It looks natural.  4). I don't have to wash it very often. 5). Better than a wig. 6). The hair is good quality and it shipped really fast!

What I don't like is 1). It's really hard for me to get used to. 2). I have to adjust it by pushing it down every hour or so.  3).  I can't really pull it back in a pony tail or wear it half up.  4). I feel like people are staring at me even though they are probably not.  5). I can't wear it straight because my real hair is so frizzy and the halo is normal hair and it looks strange.  6). It's just not the same as having your own hair.

I have to get ready to take Finn to the Children's Museum with friends.  I'm excited cause we've never been!  I've been an emotional ball of tears all week, so I hope this will cheer me up and put me in a happy Mommy place.  I also get extreme anxiety driving on the freeway for obvious reasons.  Last time I drove to the 'big Salt Lake City' (going to a Dr's apt) I was driving in the middle lane on the freeway.  I put my blinker on to change lanes carefully watching a woman who was on her cell phone 2 lanes over.  Luckily I had my eye on her because she wasn't paying attention and didn't put her blinker on and started to pull over in the same lane I was getting into.  I honked and over corrected a little while swerving back into my lane.  I had a full on panic attack, started crying, and kept telling myself out loud that 'I was never driving again and I can't drive again'.  I was already a very paranoid driver and now I cry when stuff like this happens.  I basically can't even handle it.  I have NO idea how Ryan drives to work everyday.  I suppose I will always be a super crazy paranoid driver whenever I'm driving over 40 mph.  I sorta honk a lot more than your average person as well.  "It's like I think I'm in New York or something", Ryan always says.  ...I can't help it.  Wish me luck.  At least I'm full of titanium rods and I'm pretty sure those bones can't be re-broken again :).



A few people have mentioned the song Godspeed by the Dixie Chicks to me.  The first time we listened to it, it brought on waterfalls of tears.  It's a beautiful song:

dragon tails and the water is wide
pirate's sail and lost boys fly
fish bite moon beams everynight

and I love you

godspeed little man
sweet dreams little man
oh my love will fly to you each night 
on angels wings

godspeed, sweet dreams

rocket racer is all tuckered out
superman is in pajamas on the couch  
goodnight moon will find the mouse

and I love you

godspeed little man
sweet dreams little man
oh my love will fly to you each night
on angels wings


sweet dreams

god bless mommy and matchbox cars
god bless daddy and thanks for the stars

god hears amen where ever we are
and I love you

godspeed little man
sweet dreams little man

oh my love will fly to each night
on angels wings

godspeed; godspeed; godspeed

sweet dreams

It's totally my new song on repeat.  My apple ID/password isn't working so I haven't bought it yet so I have a link on Facebook and I just keep hitting play to repeat it when it's over, the old fashioned way.  I take off my one yellow dishwashing glove to hit play each time while doing dishes.  I stop dusting and come into the kitchen when it's over to hit play again.  It makes me cry... sob actually; every single time I hear it.  It helps me cry when I know I need to and I'm alone and I can.  It's like a release of built up emotions.  A button I can just push to just let go of the little dark cloud that is growing heavy and needs to let go of the rain.  I sometimes don't want to stop pushing the button and go back to everyday life.  The unimaginable sadness is my best friend, it's my little man, it's all I have left of him.  

After swimming with a friend and her 11 month old one day we decided to hang out at my house after and she'd forgotten some shorts.  I still have Colum's clothes hanging in the closet and his pants are still in his drawer.  I'm not attached to every single item and grabbed some shorts that were obviously hand-me-downs to let her use so she didn't have to run home.  I immediately saw the huge dirt crusty spot on one knee of them.  They were dirty!  They were put back filthy dirty; how horribly disgusting.  What a horrible dirty disgusting miracle of a blessing.  Not only were they crusty and incredibly dirty but they smelled like him!  They smelled like his sweet puke.  He was outside getting dirty (just like all 2nd and any child except your 1st do), he puked all the time and these shorts were no exception to the rest of the clothes that got lathered daily.  But these little hand-me down shorts were salvaged and mistakenly put back in the drawer, only to find a year later by a Mom who unknowingly was going to lose that little, precious, blonde puker.   I can imagine his smell.  But it's so wonderful to smell it.  To hold it.  godspeed little man.  sweet dreams little man.  and I love you.

His 2nd Birthday is in 10 days.  I just ordered him the most amazing Toy Story cake.  A really great local bakery called Dippidee donated a few gift certificates to us.  This was so generous of them.  I normally can't afford such extravagance!  I hate that I only got one shot at a Birthday party with him.  And it was such a lame one.  I hate that Ryan only got 1 Father's Day with him.  Father's Day was a very emotional day for me for some reason.  It kills me that we only have 1 child and we should/did have 2.  Ryan is so baby hungry.  I've never seen him like this before.  He even said maybe we should have 3 more.  It's so hard to be patient to start trying, and then it's going to be hard to be patient after being so damn patient.  And patience is no virtue of mine.  I just want him back with us.  I just want to be changing poopy diapers all day again.   I hate that I'm going to have to miss somebody this bad for the rest of my life!  I just can barely hang on somedays.  

Finn asked me as I was buckling him in his carseat this morning "Mom, are you just sad all the time?".   He sees me cry a lot but, I think he must have overheard somebody say that or somebody asked him that.  He's starting to really pay attention to what us grown-ups are saying and the other night he told me "Mom you are a very very funny lady", when we asked him why I was so funny he said, "because you are handi-cap".  We rolled, and laughed so hard we cried.  I tried to explain that being handi-cap isn't funny but it is funny to Mom and Daddy that we're handi-cap.  We laugh at ourselves all the time and make fun of our stiffness and sudden waddles, aches, and pains.    I know that him seeing his parents in wheelchairs, walkers, and canes makes him more comfortable around other people that use them.  But, of course it's not funny and I hope he understands our unique humor about ourselves... but will not be afraid to talk to people who are in wheelchairs etc.  I used to work at Nordstrom and I remember in training a woman mentioned that if you see somebody who is blind or handi-cap to always try and smile and speak to them.  It's so easy to pretend to not notice their handi-cap or awkwardly smile at them.  But that she once spoke to a blind man and he told her how lonely it was.  How people assume he doesn't want to be bothered by them because he was blind.  This breaks my heart.  I hope Finn will always be more comfortable and his super friendly, non-shy self to everybody, especially those with disabilities.  He tries so much to help us by holding doors open and was so concerned when I used to have to keep going back to the hospital.  I hope he can learn and take something really special from our tragedy.  He really has something special... I know all Mom's say that, and I know they are all right.  But, my Finn he's a star.

to be continued... I gotta wipe my tears and take some kids to a promised McDonald's date!

Godspeed everyone.


You better run

Quick lil' post:

Headstone has been designed.  I took a few pieces from other poems and few pieces from myself and wrote a poem that is special to us.  It should be up by his Birthday which is on 6/29 and I'm super excited.

I jogged for 7 minutes in a row this morning at therapy.  I would've kept going but they made me stop.  I think I probably have a crazy smile on my face while I run.  I REACHED MY GOAL TO RUN BY COLUM'S BIRTHDAY!!!  My Physical Therapists don't know what to think of me.  They aren't really used to patients with the drive that I have.  I know I wasn't told I'd never walk again and am amazingly walking or anything.  But, I'm way ahead of schedule and it feels really good.  I'm super proud of myself.  I just really love that runner's high!  If you run you know what I'm talking about.  If you don't, you either don't believe me or think it's unachievable for you.  To get fully 'high' I have to run about 5 miles.  So, I'm just getting a small runner's buzz.  If you are just starting out the secret is to just jog really slow for as long as you can, then walk, repeat.

We are sorta throwing together a small Fun Run the day after Colum's Birthday 6/30 @ 8:00am at the fitness center in American Fork, Utah.  It's not really going to be professional and you won't wear a number or get a t-shirt.  It's free.  It's going to be about 5k in distance.  You can walk, you can skip, or you can run.  We are going to have balloons and water at the end, so you can let go of a balloon at the end.  Simple.  In honor of Colum.  And the beginning of a yearly tradition.  

Next year, and hopefully every year I want to do a 5-10k run for Colum's Birthday.  We will run in honor of Colum, you will get a t-shirt, and help raise money for a good cause.  I want to do this to help give back and to help other families who are going through what we are.  I want to do this because we have had so much love, generosity, and support shown to us.  And I want to do this to help turn Colum's Birthday into a happy and joyful day; not a sad one.

Thanksgiving morning '11.  Ryan's 1st race!  And the 1st race we ran together... the whole family.   Colum totally held a graham cracker the whole way.
If you don't live locally then just get outside that day and walk, skip, or run.  If you live close and want to come then we will provide a link on FB (or something soon, I'll keep you posted) and then we will have a balloon waiting for ya!  Ryan and I plan on walking most of it... and hopefully I will do a little bit of running too (he's just gonna have to keep up).  

I just want to make it clear that this is going to be a very low key race.  But, if you've always wanted to run a race you can start training now, or make it a goal for next year.  Or just grab your BFF and walk it.  Have a good week!


Too much

Sometimes I feel like there's not enough balance in my life.  I suppose nobody's life is really balanced.  Life seems to be more of a balancing act... literally.   When I stumble across photos of myself pre-accident I stare at my eyes.  Searching for answers.  Some hint of what it used to feel like to feel normal inside and out.  What I used to consider to be my problems and what used to make me happy.  Before this hell of missing my Son began, who was I?  I complained a lot about how hard it was, but my kids were getting a little bit bigger and it was getting easier.  I'm not afraid to voice what I'm feeling and sometimes I wish I was.  The days, they were only hard until Ryan came home from work and I lived for the weekends.  

Clearly I would give anything to change the way things happened.  When I stumble across pictures of him that I haven't seen in a long time I stare at his eyes.  Searching for answers.  Did I love him enough the day this picture was taken?  Did he know that if something (heaven forbid) ever happened to him that this is what would happen to me?  When it happened...did he feel pain?  I cry and I cry asking myself these questions.  I can't believe it's been almost 6 months since I hugged my baby boy.  I know one day I will find peace and there will be balance to my grief.  

Finn still talks about Colum everyday.  I'm discovering that Finn doesn't spill out whatever he's feeling the way his Mom does.  I know it's part of his personality, but I don't think it's healthy to hold everything in.  I know when I'm not able to be myself, my 100% self I get exhausted.  It's really exhausting to be somebody your not.  He's still growing.  He's 3, almost 4 and he's already a private person.  Maybe he will someday be able to express more of his feelings and how this has effected him as he grows older... maybe he won't.  It's one of the hardest parts of all of this for me, watching Finn with no Brother.  How lonely his world turned that night.  Colum was more than just my baby, he was Finn's brother and best friend.

Playing crack the egg on the tramp.
I've decided that I'm going to start scheduling days off for myself.  I've had a few melt downs lately about having too much on my plate.  I haven't been having enough time to cry.  I'm not really sure how much time I need but I'm giving myself permission to take it.  I'm more concerned about my family and my well being these days.  Finding my new balance is like trying to make up my own recipe.  More of this and less of that.  Too much or too little.  Moving forward, yet still looking backward.  Things are looking up, yet you are feeling down. A little more laughter, a little less sadness.  I need to take time out of my days to spend quality time with Finn.  I want my recipe to have all the right ingredients to be a success.  I want to be able to hand out my recipe to others, so they can enjoy it also.  Today was a perfect success.  After working a little and putting a dent in my stack of hospital bills, we went to lunch just us 2.  Then jumped on our new trampoline that Daddy brought home last night (some one gave it to him, cause they didn't use it anymore).  It's only an 8' tramp, I've never seen one this size.  I didn't know if my legs would be able to actually jump (yet).  My Physical Therapist told me I could try and to just listen to my body.  I was somehow able to stand up from a sitting position after climbing up on the trampoline & jump away.  I taught Finn how to play "crack the egg".  We laughed together at the same things and I don't remember the last time laughing felt this good or even this special .  We made up a 'we got a new tramp dance'.  We took silly pictures and texted them to Daddy.  I know I've said it before but Finn has saved us.  He's such a tender hearted kid who loves everybody.  He's naturally positive and I'm madly deeply in love with him.  I'm so glad he's mine.  He's the best older brother ever and he's one of my best friends.

Quality-tramp-time today.  I kinda think we look like twins upside down :).

Morning "Huggles" ritual.
Lunch date, just Finn & I.  I wish his freckles would show up in pictures.  He's starting to get highlights in his hair from the sun.

Ordering flowers for Brother's grave.  Our new tradition (Memorial Day).

Colum's grave on Memorial Day.  No headstone.... but we are getting close!

Physical Therapy.  That's Ryan in the background.  We do this a lot.