Friday, September 24, 2010

Give a speech day

Please do not ask about the title for today's post. I couldn't think of one-- possibly b/c I'm still reeling from yesterday's "speech".
Those lucky poor people who were in the same speech class in college as I was can attest to the fact that giving speeches is NOT my forte.  I'll stick to my day job as a pianist, thank you very much!  But...I'll do anything for either of my sons and since this was for one of them, I had to do it.

I was asked by the head of labor and delivery at one of our area hospitals to share Grant's story with a bereavement training class they were having yesterday. (Thanks, Misty, for your willingness to watch Jake at the last minute!)  I was also asked last year, but fortunately  unfortunately I had the flu that week.  This year, I tried to feign the excuse that I couldn't find a sitter, but my Pastor's wife agreed to watch Jake so that was that- out of excuses. It's not that I don't want to share Grant's story, it's just that I'm terrified of speaking about ANY subject in front of a group of people. 

So I pull my truck into the parking garage, lock up, and get out.  With my heart pounding in my chest I went to the back of the truck and touched Grant's memory sticker. I said, "This one's for you, little guy" and proceeded to walk to the Education Building. When I walked in the door I was greeted by another of the nurses that heads up the bereavement program and she walked me back to the room. I took one look at all those nurses looking at me and wanted to turn and run but then I saw Amanda, one of the moms I have met recently online and felt more comfortable about doing it...because, misery likes company, ya know!

There were four of us- Amanda, me, Jen and her husband Josh.  Amanda went first, and then I was second.  My favorite part was how I informed everyone in the room that I would be reading my type written speech so that I wouldn't get off track but then five minutes into it I didn't even look at my paper!  Maybe it was for the best, because I spoke from my heart.  I shared our infertility struggles, and how that made losing Grant so much more worse because he was the first baby we'd ever conceived without medical help-- and it was now looking like the LAST baby we'd ever conceive too.  I shared our excitement that we were pregnant and that Jake was finally getting the sibling he wanted. I shared it all- the good, the bad, and the anguish we felt when we were told our son had a fatal disorder.  And then I shared about our time at the hospital- what things I wish had been done, or had not been done.  Afterward, we had a question/answer time. We got asked what has helped us through our grief- as a person, and also as a couple- my answer was simple- our FAITH and our resolve to stick together no matter how bad it got.
I also got asked about how Kris and I came about starting Granting Hope.  So I shared that,  and somewhere in this discussion, I think, was where I saw Jen and Josh pull out one of our albums that we put in our baskets that we take to the hospital.  I had no idea that they had gotten one of our baskets!! They let me look through their album and I could have just sat there and cried. It was filled just like we had pictured it in our minds what purpose we had intended for those albums- pics of their baby; their baby's feet and hand prints, all the way down to the pocket we had made on the first page- filled up with baby's bracelet, and some other items. Jen looked at me with tears and she said "Thank you for making this easier for us to deal with"...Wow!! I was and still am...SPEECHLESS.  I felt my little Grant close to me right about then and I hoped that he was proud.

I love it when things happen that you don't expect! We never expected that we would ever meet the people we made baskets for, much less hear them say "thank you"... or see in person just how much something we did helped them feel better. That makes my heart smile...something that hasn't happened a whole lot since I lost my baby. But I am sad a little too, for those who I am unable to help, because I am limited to how many baskets I'm able to make each time.  We are only able to make ten about every two to three months; and I know that the hospital needs more than that.  For now, we just continue to do what we can and trust that God will help us do the rest.

By the end of the class, we were all crying and smiling, and the nurses were asking us how they could make things better- so I feel that it went well, and they went away knowing better how to help those who will experience this loss in the future. For that, I am grateful, and feel that all the butterflies in my stomach were worth it!

We all got a gift for being there yesterday- I opened it when I got home. It is a candle holder for our baby's rememberance candle.  Can you believe it has butterflies on it?  Just like our Granting Hope logo!! Here is a picture of it, and when you look at it, please say a prayer for Amanda, Josh & Jen. 

Thank you!


  1. Oh Mama, you would never know you were nervous, you did a beautiful job on Thursday! Your willingness to share Grants story and your families journey touched so many hearts that day. and Amamda really needed you there!
    This morning Grants' basket was given to a mom with twin girls. Thank you for the bottom of our hearts for providing these baskets to comfort and support other moms and dads...

  2. I am passing the Lovely Blog Award on to you. Your words are so often and inspiration to me.

  3. Jody, you are amazing!!! Love the stories! I don't think I can express how much those baskets mean to us(the lucky/unlucky)ones who receive them. Such a blessing to us, and such a blessing to the people we are able to help because we have received them. I am thankful that the Lord put the idea of Granting Hope in your head and you guys have been strong enough to carry out His work.

    *That candle holder is BEAUTIFUL!!!

  4. That is amazing Jody! I am so proud of you for doing that! I hate speeches too, in fact Im taking a speech class now and Im awful lol! Grant is so proud of his mama today! The candle holder is gorgous Jody, I love it! (((HUGS)))


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