Every year we attend the Sutter NICU Wings Remembrance Event that remembers all the babies under the care of the Sutter Medical Center NICU who didn't make it home. Families come and attend whose baby died many years ago. Others, had just left the hospital. We come and remember the lives of our babies. To feel the love we have for them and together we long for them.
We love coming back every year to reunite with the NICU staff that were with us when Olivia was born. We reconnect with some of the same families every year. We love to talk about them. Speak their name. Hear their name. And we all know and understand each others weight of longing, missing and loving them. We write letters, send kisses to them on the wings of butterflies. Their siblings remember them through creative arts and crafts.
We shed many tears and remember the heart break. We also remember their lives. Regardless how short their life was, they are forever with us.
Every year, a slideshow is presented for the families in remembrance of our babies. These are the lyrics we picked for Olivia. It's from a song called, "Winter Bear", by Coby Grant. It was written in honor of baby who was stillborn. Click here to see the "Winter Bear" music video.
"I knew you before I knew your name
I loved you before I saw your face
I longed for you for all of that time
And I held your heart in mine
I kissed you you a hundred million times
I tasted the tears that I cried
I held you my beautiful child
And I'll keep your heart in mine
I love you to the moon and back my little winter bear
I know you know how much that is cause you're already there.
I never knew a love like this could ever possibly exist,
I love you to the moon and back as long as I live."
Winter Bear-Coby Grant
Today seems a little tougher this year. My heart is torn between longing and happiness. Missing my sweet girl, Olivia. How I wish she was here growing up with her brother. Missing my mom. There are times when I just need my mom.
James is growing to be such a little man. And I’m so proud and honored to be his mom. So thankful and grateful for my mother-in-law, Sheri. She has walked with us all along the way.
I am so blessed to have all 4 of these people in my life even though two are in heaven. I know I will see them again. But until then I will miss them and continue to carry them in my heart.
Wishing a gentle Mother’s Day to all moms and those who are missing their moms. ❤️ 💐
Happy Nurses Week to all!!! I have had the honor and pleasure of placing 100s of nurses over my 3 1/2 years of recruiting.
I would like to honor Suzanne Griffith, RN. She was one of our nurses from the High Risk Maternity Ward at Sutter Memorial Sacramento just five years ago this past October. Suzanne journeyed with us from prep, to delivery, to the NICU and finally to our goodbyes for our sweet First Born Olivia Hope. Believe it or not we laughed, we cried and shared a hug. Even during tough times I look to sarcasm to create a little laughter (It’s just who I am). I noticed Suzanne overwhelmed with tears of sorrow when we were preparing to say goodbye to Olivia. I followed her out of the room, met up with her and gave her a big hug and a thank you filled with tears. She had already given us so much care and support, standing strong for us throughout our stay. To this day Toni and I keep in touch with her. We will be forever grateful to Nurse Suzanne for her presence in our lives ❤️ (Praise the Lord)
I would be remiss if I did not share the following... A week ago today, I was in Little Rock, AR for a work weekend away from my loved ones but surrounded by my work family❤️ Toni and James were back at home walking in memory of our First Born Olivia and our subsequent miscarried babies.
We attend the annual March of Dimes #marchforbabies walk in Sacramento with a local non profit focused on pregnancy and infant loss, #sharingparentsofsacramento. This was the first walk without me there. to say that my heart was torn in two different directions is an understatement. To this day I still find myself weeping for our losses. As the years pass it has become easier to share our journey in and through child loss.
If you or someone you know has experienced child loss and/ or miscarriage and are struggling, please encourage them to grieve as they feel they need to and to share their thoughts and feelings as they need to share. there is no wrong way just as there is no perfect way to grieve❤️
#gtbrabec gtbrabec.com #gtbrabecgriefrecovery
Well tonight brings another Christmas Holiday with the celebration of our Savior and time spent eating great food and opening presents. Over the past 5 years Toni and I have discovered the difficulty of celebrating the Christmas Season in the midst of experiencing immense loss. This year we are mourning the loss of both my Dad and a miscarriage between Toni and I. In our society the holidays are supposed to be a celebration and not a time of mourning and grieving.
Ever since the loss of Olivia 5 years ago there is the constant reminder that she was here on this earth and now she is not. As James (Our Rainbow Baby = Subsequent baby after loss) grows older it is at times a constant reminder that he is not our only child and that there is a gap in our family. Our First born Olivia was born and gone the day of our 5th Wedding Anniversary. We also have had two miscarriages that I come to find out are just as important losses even though they never made it to full term. We should have 4 children and instead James perceives himself to be an only child when looking through the lens of a near 3yr old. His mother and I know better and little by little we are introducing Olivia into his day to day.
There are 4 stockings on our mantel, two of them have names on them for Olivia and James. I catch myself staring at them and wondering what Olivia would look like and sound like next to James. I picture the two of them helping Toni while setting up and decorating the house and our Christmas tree… Is this selfish of me? Am I stuck in the past? Am I not happy with what God has given us in James? I would say a resounding “No” to all of the above. We cherish Olivia and her short life that was lived on this earth. She will always be known as our first born. The Holidays are always going to be a little rough when we remember those loved ones that we have lost.
Geoff and toni Brabec
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