Summer has come and gone and left behind the beautiful colors of fall. I love this time of year because everything is changing, the leaves, the coffee flavors, weather, clothes, you name it- it's changing.
I recently went apple picking with my little family and it was a lot of fun. That is until my little one started to throw a tantrum (and apples). He was not as into it as I had hoped, unfortunately. So my attempt at a fun family outing was turned into a tantrum fest. Oh well, there is always next year. The upside is I had a lot of apples to make some yummy treats with. I made two batches of my finest Apple Crisp, which were delicious.
I love Fall. I love everything about it. The smell of leaves, the colors, the weather. Everything. I live in Maine, and we have the most beautiful foliage you'll ever find. Which is why we have so many tourists come through during the season. I feel like tourist season never really ends in New England. We have ski season, which lasts from early november some years, to late March, depending on the snow season. Then we have the tourists that come for the summer, many people have summer homes up here. And then the leaf peepers come for Fall. I just want a break from all of the tourists so I can enjoy my Fall without all of the people. I know it is great for the small businesses around here and they get a lot of foot traffic but I just want to enjoy it while it lasts, without all of the leaf peepers.
So that is my Dose of Happy, The Band. What is yours?
When I was in college student, I lived a few blocks away from some relatives. I had a standing invitation to eat at their house every Sunday night - no need to call ahead, just show up. As a starving college student, you would think I would take advantage of that, but I only went a handful of times.
Spending time with that family was painful.
You see, they had a sick game they liked to play in their family. If it had a name, it would be called "Let's pick on April until she cries."
April and I were very close. She had her issues, but I adored her. I have come to discover from reading the stories on this site that her mother (and possibly her father) were narcissitic. They had two "golden children," who could do no wrong, one child who was sort of neutral, and then April was the scapegoat for the whole family.
Almost immediately after sitting down to a meal, they would start in on April. Everyone would talk about their day, but when she would try to talk, they would belittle everything she said. Nothing she ever did was good enough, and everything she said was stupid or unimportant. They would dig and push buttons until the tears fell.
I will never forget the look of satisfaction on that woman's face when she had succeeded in destroying her daughter.
A mother is supposed to be a source of comfort and support to her children. Being a mother now myself, I can't even comprehend how a mother can destroy her child day after day, after day.
April is married with her own kids now. And I still cringe when I hear her call her mother "Mama." The woman never earned that title.
My stepfather was not always an abusive alcoholic. He was simply a man who loved a glass of scotch in the evening before bed during the early years of my childhood, the years I called him "Daddy." He was kind-hearted and taught me the life lessons that a girl needs in order to become a compassionate member of the human society.
No, he was not always an abusive alcoholic but he is now.
Don Mustard has been my dad since I was eighteen months old. I was not fond of men as an infant, especially those I had never met. Despite this, on the day we met, I ran straight to him and begged him to pick me up. We became inseparable for the next several years.
I owe most of my character to this man. My love for animals, my passion for hunting, my need to be around horses, and my unconditional love can all be attributed to the years I spent at his heels. I learned the value of hard work by taking care of orphaned cattle from the rancher that employed him. I woke up in the wee hours of the mornings to answer the cries of a calf searching for breakfast and did so without complaint. I had no friends during my elementary years because I smelled like animals, but I cared not. I had a family who loved me. I had a large variety of animals that were much kinder than humans for companionship. I was happy.
I was entering junior high when I began to notice that there was a problem. The bottle that had taken my dad a few weeks to finish now needed to be replaced once a week, and soon after, twice a week. As a family that was struggling just to keep food on the table, this seemed like a luxury that we just could not afford. However, my mom discovered that being unable to provide this bottle was a much worse problem than the money that was being spent on it. Dad would become irritated without his "nightcap," but we just brushed it off as crankiness.
Then, the irritation was turned my way. Suddenly, nothing I did was right. I was an honor roll student and worked right beside the cowboys on the ranch from dusk until dawn, with the exception of school hours. Still, it was not enough. I was the entire reason for his and my mother’s marital problems in his opinion. I was called a mistake or "that bastard child" on more than one occasion. I would fall asleep many nights in tears. I worked harder to achieve more, aching to hear him tell me he was proud of me once again. It never came.
My mother sat me down during my freshman year of high school and explained our situation to me. My once loving dad was sick, and until he would admit it, there was nothing that she or I could do to make him happy again.
I did my research, like any good student. I learned everything I could about alcoholism, not only about the physical effects, but the psychological effects as well. I learned that the man who spat such ugly words at night was simply not the man who had taught me to ride a bicycle and tie my shoe. Sadly, he might not ever be again.
I wanted to be angry with him.
After all, he was the one who had taught me that allowing anything or anyone to have such a hold over your actions made you weak. The night his anger turned to physical blows, I might have grown resentful, had I not been able to remember one cold morning in a deer stand so many years before. I had proven myself to be a near perfect shot, after years of practice, and I was being rewarded with my very first hunting trip. The excitement of the next morning kept me awake most of the night, and I jumped out of bed the moment my mother woke me. I entered the living room proudly wearing my new gear. That warm camouflage uniform was prettier than any dress in my personal opinion. I tucked my bright red hair into the baseball cap and double-checked the gun that I had lovingly cleaned the night before. My mother handed my dad a lunch box with sandwiches and jerky, and we were off. He drove patiently and carefully through the field while his daughter was unable to stop talking in bubbly excitement over the possibilities of the day.
My dad did all the talking once we were in the deer blind, keeping his voice down to a barely audible whisper as he spoke about the feeling of sighting a deer through the sights of your gun. He warned me about the possibility of freezing up once my sights were lined up and told me how to fight through it. Soon, those words of experience soon turned to wise lessons of life and love.
I valued these lessons and tucked them away for later years, but it was his speech about unconditional love that would eventually turn that little girl into the woman I am today. He told me, “when you love someone, be it your family, an animal, or your husband, you must love them unconditionally. Everyone makes mistakes and we always hurt the ones who love us the most. Love is worthless unless it’s unconditional. You must always forgive those you love without hesitation. If it isn’t unconditional, then it isn’t love at all.”
Many years later, I would forgive him instantly for his abuse. This abuse increasingly grew more violent, and by the time I moved out of my parent’s home, I was grateful to be free of his anger and bitterness. I kept the lessons he taught me in the deer blind close to my heart but added my own touch to it. I decided that while love was worthless unless it was unconditional, that did not mean that a person had to stick around to be abused and walked on. A person could love unconditionally while doing so from a distance.
My dad’s drinking grew increasingly worse after my mother passed away. Today, his mind is half gone from the booze and the evidence is apparent even during the sober moments of the daytime. He has become an empty shell of a man. He is deeply affected by depression and seeks to fill his emptiness with women who could never hope to fill the shoes my mother left behind. He has yet to admit that he has a problem. I still love him unconditionally although I am sure he would tell you otherwise.
I will always be grateful for the earlier years that I spent with my dad. I am a woman who always seeks a brighter future because of these moments. More importantly, I know how to love someone with everything I have, no matter their crimes against others or me. Experience has taught me that there are not many souls out there who can say the same. Most people speak their love without ever knowing exactly how to show it. My Daddy taught me that showing it is more important than three empty words and my children will learn this as well. That is the greatest gift any man could have passed down to his daughter.
I have lost hope that he will ever seek the help he needs to change but on the day of his funeral, I will proudly stand there and speak of the man before the disease. I believe that on that day, I will finally receive his pride as he watches my eulogy through eyes unclouded by booze. Maybe then he will realize that I learned my lessons well and grew up to be everything he had once hoped for. Alcoholism will have finally released its hold on my dad. I will not speak of the horrible deeds or the years I spent as his victim. After all, love is worthless unless it is unconditional.
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"A person's a person,
no matter how small"
- Dr Seuss
Today, October 15, 2014, we pause to remember the stars of our soul that were extinguished far too early.
To the parents who are missing their babies today and always, The Band sends ourlove and prayers.
To our babies, the babies who never got to experience the joys of Earth and whose lives were cut very short, we miss you.
We miss you. More than anyone can ever know. We wish we could have one more moment - one single moment - with you, as if we can't have a lifetime with you.
Today, we honor the short lives of some of the brightest souls, souls that have touched many and have taught us to cherish all of life's moments.
To our babies who we carry in our hearts, instead of our arms, we will never forget you.
Band Back Together's Wall of Remembrance:
- Mary Katerina, miscarriage March 13, 2008.
- September 23, 2010, miscarriage.
Amanda and John's Babies:
- Juliana, July 2008, miscarriage.
- Charlie, November 2009, miscarriage.
- Samantha, March 2010, miscarriage.
- Her 3 Littles, December 23, 2010, missed miscarriage/June 2011, miscarriage/December 6, 2011, Autosomal Recessive Polycysitic Kidney Disease
Another Becky's Baby:
- Baby Savu, August 2004 missed miscarriage between 3rd and 4th month.
- Baby Garrett, September 13 2012, Miscarriage
Aunt Becky's Babies:
- February, 2008, Baby 1, miscarriage.
- March, 2008, Baby 2, miscarriage.
Baby Boy, February 15, 2000, miscarriage.
Baby Ian, pregnant October 2011, unpregnant January 2012, ectopic pregnancy.
Baby KJ, July 15, 2008, miscarriage.
Baby Moll, June 13, 2005, miscarriage.
Baby Noah Walter, January 2012, miscarriage.
- Malcolm, January 2008, miscarriage.
- Ophelia, April 2009, miscarriage.
- Caden, miscarriage, May 1989.
- Aubrey, miscarriage, December 1993.
- Kaycie, miscarriage, 6/14/2011.
- Baby Jones #1, February 2007, miscarriage at 12 weeks due to blighted ovum (Empty Gestational Sac).
- Michelle, November 1991, miscarriage
- 2 babies, miscarried in 1994 and 1999.
Elsie's Ten Possibilities:
- Nine Embies, 2008
- Lola, 2011
- Baby 1, September 2006, miscarriage.
- Baby 2, January 2007, miscarriage.
- Baby Girl 1, December 2008, late miscarriage.
- Baby Girl 2, August 17, 2009, born still at 18 weeks.
- March 2005, miscarriage at 13 weeks.
- Biscuit, July 18, 2012, miscarriage.
- Unnamed baby, 6w1d, September 18, 2010, miscarriage.
- Unnamed baby, 6w2d, June 22, 2011, miscarriage.
- Unnamed baby, 5w, August 15, 2011, miscarriage.
- Pregnant in December, 2007. Unpregnant by February, 2008.
- Forget Me Not #1, February 2008, miscarriage.
- Forget Me Not #2, January 2012, miscarriage.
- Baby M, September 10, 2011, miscarriage.
- Stella, February 13, 2011, miscarriage.
- June 8, 2008, early miscarriage.
- November 2007, early miscarriage
- November 2011, early miscarriage
Justine and Boo's Baby:
Kallay and Ryan's Baby:
- Baby C lost to a partial miscarriage, May 17, 2010. Baby C is survived by twin sisters, Lily and Molly who were born on December 7, 2010.
- Mari Elizabeth, September 2003, miscarriage
- Noah Douglas, October 2004, miscarriage.
- Twin Angels, July 2006, miscarriages.
- Rebecca, June 3, 1995, miscarriage.
- Baby Sluiter A, April 2007, miscarriage.
- Baby Sluiter B, May 2008, miscarriage.
- Baby 1, September 2009, miscarriage.
- Baby 2, May 2010, miscarriage.
- Lola, October 9, 2012, miscarriage.
Kelly and Brad's daughter:
- Lily Catherine, February 18, 2010, miscarriage.
- Baby 1, April 2003, miscarriage.
- Baby 2, October 2004, miscarriage.
- Baby 3, February 2006, miscarriage.
Kendra Pocock's Baby:
- Baby JJ Pocock, July 13 2012, Miscarriage/Ectopic Pregnancy
- Baby, October 1996, miscarriage.
- Baby One, son late term miscarriage at 15 weeks.
- Baby Two, second-trimester miscarriage at 14 weeks.
- Baby Three: miscarriage, 11 weeks.
- Baby Four: miscarriage, 13 weeks
- Baby Five, late miscarriage, 16 weeks.
- Eva, miscarriage
- 7 other babies lost through miscarriage due to luteal phase disorder and clotting disorder.
L. Moses' Baby:
- Baby Moses, July 17, 2008, ectopic pregnancy
Lara and Brandon's Son:
Lauren C's Angels:
- Baby, August 27, 2007, miscarriage.
- Baby Boy, January 13, 2011, miscarriage.
- Baby May 9, 2011, miscarriage.
- Cameron, born and died May 22, 2009 at 10 weeks.
- Jeremiah Oliver and Jillian Olivia, twin babies. Second trimester loss July 9, 2010 and July 14, 2010 respectively.
- July 1994, ectopic pregnancy resulting in emergency surgery.
- Natasha Anastasia, September 7, 2011, miscarriage.
- Baby B #3, September 1, 2011, miscarriage at 5 weeks.
Marlowe Corrine, September 19, 2006, early miscarriage.
- June 11, 2011, miscarriage
- Baby Angel, February 8, 1998, blighted ovum/miscarriage
- Albert Eugene, October 31, 2000, miscarriage
Mindy's Three Angels:
- Angel One, September 9, 2005, miscarriage.
- Angel Two, July 17, 2007, miscarriage.
- Angel Three, September 25, 2010, miscarriage.
- Peanut, August 7, 2011, miscarriage.
- Baby One, February 2, 2011, miscarriage.
- Hosanna Joy, June 18, 2011, early miscarriage.
- Cody Ryan-Price Grodan, February 14, 2012, miscarriage, 12 weeks.
Nicole and Jake's baby:
- Baby One, September 19, 2011, miscarriage.
Rachel and Jesse:
- Babies due Aug 2008 and November 2010. Both lost to miscarriage.
- Alivia Mason, March 21, 2012, miscarriage.
- Isaac Ephraim, miscarriage August 2006.
- Isaiah Jeremiah, miscarriage January 2007.
- Ella Alicea, ectopic pregnancy June 2009.
- September 2006, miscarriage.
- April 12, 2002, miscarriage.
- September 3, 2008, miscarriage.
- Baby #3, June 2000, miscarriage from a blighted ovum.
- Athena Rose Moore, Girl Twin B
- October 1990, miscarriage.
Three Angels: September, 2002, July 17, September 25. Miscarriages.
- Sean Michael, April 14, 1987, miscarriage.
- Nolan "Shepherd," stillborn at 17 weeks on September 15, 2009.
- Madeleine Rose, stillborn July 7, 2009 due to incompetent cervix and uterine infection.
- Orion, stillborn May 8, 2004
- Benjamin, September 4, 2012, stillbirth.
- Bella Rose, stillborn on September 9, 2009.
- Emerson Allen Behrends, July 10, 2001, stillborn.
- Jonathan Edward, June 4, 1992, stillborn.
Debbie And Jeff's Daughter:
- Chloe Eva, September 12, 2008, stillbirth.
Heather and David's Daughter:
- Clara Edith, July 1, 2012, Stillbirth at 42 weeks, 3 days due to meconium aspiration and uterine infection.
Jill and Mark's Baby:
- Haven, November 26, 2003, stillborn at 38 weeks gestation
- Ruth, January 3, 2013, stillbirth
Lilla and Gareth's daughter:
- Pippa, born still on February 13, 2011 from listeria infection.
Louise and Joseph's Baby:
- Alice Mathelin, born still on February 25, 2011, at 36 weeks and 5 days from Abruptio Placentae
Martha's Twin Boys:
- Owen died March 8, 2008 because his cord wasn't properly attached to the placenta.
- Joshua died one month later, April 6, 2008 because he couldn't live without his brother. Both were born still on April 8, 2008.
- Summer Lily, born still March 30, 2011.
- Jordan Ala, stillborn on November 13, 2006.
- Nicholas Aaron and Nathan Alexander, June 9, 2000, stillbirth
- Audrey Elizabeth, August 7, 1998, born still.
Selah Mae: born January 22, 2002, stillborn.
- Carter Austin Ross, March 18, 2006, stillbirth due to an umbilical cord anomaly.
- Isabella-Rose Elizabeth, October 12, 2009, stillbirth.
Amy and James's Babies:
- Jacob Bennett born and died on July 11, 2007 due to premature rupture of membranes (PROM).
- Samantha Lauren born August 16, 2011 at 23.5 weeks passed away September 17th due to extreme prematurity and fungal meningitis.
Baby Helen: Born July, 1993. Passed from prematurity.
- Christopher Robin Cote: Born September 25, 2009. Stillborn due to premature rupture of membranes and incompetent cervix.
- Jellybean, born at 5:20 April 15th, 2009; and passed just four short hours later in her arms.
Heather and Aaron's Son:
- Aodin R. Hurd, October 7, 2007, born still due to premature rupture of the membranes.
- Baby S, March 2008, Miscarriage
- Evie, December 14, 2009, Triplet Prematurity
- Jack, December 22, 2009, Triplet Stillbirth due to Prematurity
- Will, January 13, 2010, Triplet Prematurity
- Baby M, May 2010, Miscarriage
Kristin's Baby (Mama KK):
- Ariel Grace, born on July 28, 2009 at 18 weeks 5 days. Lived 5 minutes.
- Ayla and Juliet, October 20, 2009 at 20 weeks.
- Bayli and Thomas on June 8, 2011 at 21 weeks 2 days.
Matthew Chase Sims: April 25th, 2006 due to prematurity.
- Born at 21 weeks in June 2011 due to a bacterial infection, lived for 30 minutes.
- Samuel, August 8, 2001, prematurity.
- Coleman Parker Garibay, September 14, 2005, lost at 6 months gestation and passed from prematurity.
- Reya, September 18 2011, Prematurity due to extreme Pre-eclempsia
S & T's Son:
- William, November 2, 2013, 24 weeks, 3 days, prematurity
- Erik Richard, July 29, 1981, prematurity.
Aaron and Kristine's Son:
- Luke Ervin Seitz, born July 21, 2011 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, and passed on June 28, 2011.
- Mateo, Anthony, and Ian born on May 6, 2008 at 23 weeks and 3 days.
- Mateo was born still.
- Anthony passed away from Transposition of the Great Vessels.
- Ian passed away after a short stay in the NICU.
- Nathaniel James, August 24, 2001 - August 29, 2001, Citrullinemia
- David Henry, May 11, 2010 - January 24, 2011, Citrullinemia, passed away after becoming sick post liver transplant
Baby Khalil, born August 14, 2009, stillborn, born still from birth defects.
- Ethan Connor Brockwell, May 3, 2006 - August 17, 2006. Born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
Christopher: November 4, 1979, due to pulmonary atresia, a congenital heart defect.
- Aidan, born with brain malformation on December 16, 2008 and passed on December 19, 2008.
Cora Mae McCormick:
- Shane Michael, born October 10, 1971 and died October 11, 1971 from heart complications before his mother could wake from anesthesia. She never saw or held him.
- Brianna Elizabeth, born January 29, 1998 and died March 7, 1998 from a heart defect.
- Matthew Connor - February 26, 2005, born at 26 weeks, passed from Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC).
- Reed Allyvion Miners, passed away July 5th 2003 at one hour old from Primary Myocardial Disease, a congenital heart defect.
- Nathaniel, born August 24, 2001 and died August 29, 2001 from an undiagnosed metabolic disorder.
- David, born May 11, 2010 and Died January 24, 2011 from a myriad of complications resulting from a liver transplant.
- Leia Sky Williams, born October 6, 2011, passed away from Group Beta Strep.
Baby Kash Michael:
- Born June 3, 2011 and died September 28, 2011.
Carey's Triplet Sons:
- Rudyard, Desmond, and Oscar, June 4th, 2011, born at 22 weeks due to of E. coli infection.
- Nicholas and Zachary, October 27th, 2004.
Heather and Joe's Twins:
- Malakai Zachary born still March 10, 2007 due to Anencephaly.
- Five more angels, July, 2007 - May, 2010. Miscarriages.
- Catherine Grace, born August 10, 2012, passed August 12, 2012, due to prematurity brought on by HELLP syndrome.
- Kaitlyn Grace, born sleeping at 38 weeks on Saturday, May 13th, 1995. Died from a true knot in her umbilical cord.
Matt and Lauren's Baby:
- Isla, born 14 weeks premature on August 23, 2011 and died on October 10, 2011.
- Mina Kathryn, born February 18, 2009, died February 24, 2009, due to complications with her PICC line.
- Baby R, May 24, 1998, Medicine Administration by RN who didn't know or ask.
- Matthew Conner Webb, born January 11, 2005 and died February 26, 2005. He was born at 26 weeks and faced many obstacles in his short life.
- Ziggy Ann born sleeping on January 21, 2009.
- Frank born sleeping May 21, 2010.
- Liberty Ann born March 30, 2011 and died on April 19, 2011.
Ally's Son: Collin
- Collin: born on August 9th, 2008. He passed away 30 minutes later from cardiac arrest after an emergency c-section due to a placental abruption.
- Nicholas, born December 14, 2005, died April 19, 2006 from SIDS.
- Max Corrigan, born November 14, 1987 and relinquished to adoption on November 18, 1987.
- Bryce Philip born May 26, 2009 and died September 1, 2009 due to SIDS
- Ashton Karol, stillborn on February 24, 2010 at 17 weeks.
- Addison Leah, June 13, 2008, accidental death.
Jessica and Mark's Daughter:
- Hadley Jane, born October 9, 2001 and died October 11, 2007.
- Jake, born August 14, 2005 died August 27, 2005 due to prematurity and hydrops.
- Sawyer, born November 17, 2009 died December 26, 2009. His cause of death has not been determined because he is part of a study at the Mayo clinic for heart arrhythmias - SIUDS (unexplained sudden infant death)
- Cullen, September 11, 2010, stillbirth.
- Brian Vitale, accidental death, September 4, 2007 - June 3, 2010. We miss him more and more each day.
- Patrick, born April 10, 1977, Adoption
- Sophia Lu Boudreau, born December 21, 2006 and died October 9, 2007 fromSIDS.
Rebecca and TJ's son:
- Rafe Theobald Calvert, born on October 11th, 2009 at 26 weeks. Spent 3 months in the NICU and underwent an intestinal obstruction repair. He was released on January 11th, 2010 and we brought him home for 6 weeks. He passed away at 4 and a half months old from SIDS on February 25th, 2010.
The Stamm's Daughter:
- Adrienne Mae, May 7, 2006, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Nathan Michael King, died from SIDS November 2008.
Chance, July 25, 2014, homicide
Read about how to help a friend through miscarriage.
Read about what to say to someone who has lost a child.
We are aware of the glitch in the profile settings, and are working on it. If you are having difficulty logging in or registering, please email email@example.com
"A person's a person, no matter how small"-Dr. Seuss
October is a special month for us here at The Band. Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and other types of baby loss and child loss affect families every day. Too many people suffer silently through the devastating loss. For those going through it, we want you to know, your little ones matter.
October 15th, is Pregnancy, Infant and Child Loss Remembrance Day.
Tomorrow, our Remembrance Wall will go up. We want all our little ones to be remembered. Please send us a comment or an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can abide with you and remember your little one(s) as our own. Today, and every day, our hearts ache for those tables forever missing one.
As we go through this month, we want to hear your stories. Stories of miscarriage. Of babies born still, still born. Of baby and child loss. This is your month and there is no story too small.
Our other loss families need to hear your stories.
Please share how your losses have affected you. There is strength in numbers and comfort in knowing you are not alone.
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