Friday, September 26, 2008


Yesterday was Tommy's birthday. September 25th, 2006 at 11:50 pm, my sweet boy came into the world with a lusty cry from tiny lungs. He weighed in at 4 pounds 3 ounces. 16 inches long. It would be many, many months before I heard that cry again. I guess you're wondering why I didn't post yesterday about his birthday. I just couldn't do it. I had posted to his carepage and a small paragraph to a private message board or two, but I could not bring myself to update here.

It rained all day yesterday. Very fitting. Tommy was facinated with rain. His favorite song was "Itsy Bitsy Spider". I remember a few months back when we got our first really good late spring-early summer soaker I opened the front door to let in the breeze. Tommy watched and watched the rain and all of a sudden, starting signing "Itsy Bitsy Spider", the part of "down came the rain and washed the spider out". He GOT it! He KNEW! He was so proud of himself. I'd forgotten that moment until right now. What a beautiful memory.

I stood on my porch and blew bubbles for Tommy. Off to Heaven they went for him to pop with his little fingers. I waited until 11:50 pm and then sang/cried "Happy Birthday" for him.

I didn't make a montage for his birthday this year. I do love to look at all of his pictures, but it would be so hard to glean just a few memories out of the literally thousands and thousands that I took in the past year. So here is a montage from his first birthday instead. Followed by pictures of his first and only birthday party.

Montage of Tommy's first year

Tommy's First Birthday Party

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Get Me Home!

I have been praying this evening. Tearful, tearful prayers. Rob and I have been looking for work to no avail. Today, our hand was forced. Pay or get out. I have about 7 days to come up with about $700 to rent a truck and pay for gas. My sister called me today and her boss offered me a job out of the blue, all I have to do is get to KY. How is it that I cannot find work in South Carolina and I have one waiting for me back home in Kentucky?

I know God has a plan for me now that does not include living in South Carolina. I belong home in Kentucky. Near my Tommy. Rob and I started packing today, but we have no job leads and therefore no way to get home.

This is my only hope. I have a paypal account at Please, please, help me get home to my family! If there is anyone in South Carolina reading this that wants to take over payments on our trailer, please email me or leave me a comment.

I want to go home so badly. I miss my mom. I miss my 4 sisters and my brother. I miss my neices and my nephew. I miss my BOYS! I need a fresh start. I need to get back to my home. I need my family around me right now. I am grieving Tommy more than ever. His birthday is Thursday and it's going to be such a rotten day.

This IS the answer I have prayed for. I feel so ready and so free. I can almost hear the truck pulling into my driveway.... I want to go Trick or Treating with my boys. I want to spend the first Thanksgiving with my family in 8 years. I want Christmas with snow.

Send me home.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

One Month

Hard to believe one month has gone by. In 6 more minutes, it will be exactly one month since my sweet baby boy left this Earth and went to play with our Heavenly Father. My heart is so heavy and some days are harder than others. Today was a hard day emotionally, but it was more about confusion than actual sadness.

I went to the American Heart Association Heart Walk today. I expected to honor Tommy and to have a peaceful day remembering him with others that loved him. It was NOT that way! Although I didn't cry, I almost did many times. I felt so lost. Not ONE thing was said about those that have lost their battle. I was so disappointed. I don't know what is going to happen next year, but if I ever participate again, I will make it my business to have an Angel table set up. We need to remember why we are in this fight to begin with.

The time is now 10:20 pm. Exactly one month ago at this moment, my sweet Angel Tommy lost his battle with Congenital Heart Defects. He fought courageously and that needs to be remembered.

I love you, my sweet baby. I will never forget you.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Baby Steps Forward

It's been 3 weeks and one day since my precious son was in my arms. I have tried to grieve, and the tears come only when I least expect them. They don't last long and most of the time, they just run down my face without a sound. I've been spending some time alone in the house, but I tend to just stay in my room.

I've gotten a few things packed up to send out to another family. I need to take them to the post office to weigh. I'm glad another family will benefit from his medical supplies, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do with things like his high chair, exersaucer, and carseat. I want them to go to another heart family who may not be able to afford them. I think it's time to call the hospital and talk to the nurses and social workers.

I had a job interview yesterday. I'm waiting for the background check to come back, but it's looking like I'll be starting next week. It's bittersweet. I worked there early in my pregnancy with Tommy and had to quit to go on bedrest, then found out a month later about his heart and knew I'd never be able to work there again, at least as long as Tommy was sick. Never did I think I'd be going back because Tommy was gone.

I got really angry today. I'm so upset that all I have left of Tommy are pictures. No baby to hold, no hair to rub, no baby kisses, no baby hugs. Just pictures. I miss him so much. I want my baby back in my arms. I'd do it all again for him. I'd sacrifice my life again and go through all of the pain and lack of sleep just to have my Sweet Tommy back.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Sunday, September 7, 2008

New Chapter

Rob and I are headed back to Charleston today. His mom has our older two boys, so Rob and I will be alone for a few weeks. What a strange time. I've always had a child by my side for the past 17 years. This is a new experience and I've got so many mixed feelings. Sure, it's going to be nice having alone time with Rob and not having to deal with fights and whining, but on the other hand, I'm going back to that empty house with all of Tommy's memories. I don't know how I'm going to deal with it all yet. Since he died, I have not had one moment alone to just let it all out. Once I'm there alone with my thoughts, I'm sure the tears will just flow and flow until I can't cry anymore.

I have not greived him. I know he's gone. I've been back to his fresh grave site and seen it with my own eyes that he is no longer here, but in the back of my mind, I can just pick up the phone and call 7C and hear him in the background flirting with the nurses. Oh, how I miss those baby kisses of his! I have TONS of video and pictures. I'm in process of burning them all to CD and eventually, I will upload them all up to not only youtube, but will have them made into a montage of his wonderful, short, miraculous life.

Please feel free to read back over the past year here on our blog, and our carepage, where I kept up with all of Tommy's medical experiences. It is a free website, but you do have to register. This just gives you the ability to access the page. You'll also get an email if I ever update it. It is and his page name is ThomasLeeDereksen (no spaces). The AHA Heart Walk is coming up in a couple of weeks. I'm participating, but I will be SOOOO emotional. It's going to fall on the one month anniversary of his death and just 5 days before his birthday.

Please keep us in your prayers as Rob and I begin this new chapter in our lives.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We Need Help!

Tommy's memorial fund has been set up to help us deal with funeral costs, as well as helping us with transportation costs, lost income from being here to lay Tommy to rest, etc. There have been generous donations made, and I'd like to thank each and every one of you that may have contributed.

But there is still so many expenses! We have been relying on Tommy's SSI every month to pay for our living expenses in South Carolina and until I can get back and start a job, we have NO income! We are trying to meet these expenses as well as cover the funeral and eventually purchase a headstone for Tommy. Every little bit will help us. Please, if you can, donate to Tommy's fund. Here is the information. Feel free to pass the information along with Tommy's story to anyone that you think might want to help.

Thank you all so much!

Account #2006015960. Those here in SC can go to any First Federal Branch or can be mailed to: First Federal, PO Box 118068, Charleston, SC 29423-9910

Diagram of Tommy's Heart Defects

Diagram of Tommy's Heart Defects
Double Inlet Left Ventricle with Transpostion of the Great Arteries