A Master of Something

Today marks the last time I will be on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock campus as a student. My last graduate classes were at the end of April, then graduation in May, but I was back this weekend for a licensure exam prep class. I can’t foresee taking Ph.D. classes at ULAR so this is probably the final day (although, I know to never say never!).

Today, I learned the secrets to taking a standardized test that I should have known a long time ago. Not to worry, I will pass this information on to you much earlier than I learned it. Basically, don’t get caught up in the messy details. Stick to the “meat” and always chose choice A when in doubt. I’ll fill you in on the details when you are a bit older.

It’s tough to make decisions when all of the decisions are pretty good or, maybe, not so good. I do know choosing people and relationships over money and things are the best way to make tough decisions. Do not get caught up in stuff. It’s good to have money, in the bank.

The final pictures of Cooper Fountain from this morning. I always feel Cooper’s presence on the journey to be a grief therapist. Seeing Cooper Fountain on campus was another sign of being on the right path and making the right decisions. I do this work for Cooper and for you, Cadyn. We continue to move forward.

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Bibliotherapy

During my death and dying class I did a research paper about bibliotherapy. To put it simply, bibliotherapy is the use of books as a therapeutic tool to help a client come to a greater understanding of something they are experiencing in their life.

I was in therapy for a short time after leaving a verbally/emotionally abusive relationship (long before therapy after the death of my daughter). My therapist was wonderful and helped me realize my ex’s abusive behavior was about him, not me.  My ex wanted me to believe that some other man smiling at me was because I was a bad person acting like a slut but, in reality, was he was ruled by his own insecurities. When therapy was getting close to finishing, my therapist recommended reading “The Razor’s Edge” by W. Somerset Maugham. He told me to pay close attention to the main character, Larry Darrell.   “That is the kind of man you should be on the look out for,” he said. Of course, I have had an affinity for that book ever since and own a paperback and hardback copy.

I hope to use bibliotherapy in practice when I’m a therapist. Many of the clients I see as an intern have zero interest in reading (or any homework for that matter) but a few have expressed interest and I’m hopeful because reading has been so therapeutic for me.

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I added to my collection today, although I now realize I need to pay more attention to possible fiction bibliotherapy books.

Harry Potter is for my own therapeutic needs.

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Memorials

I spent the day at the Arkansas State University grief seminar. Right outside the entrance is a lovely memorial for a college student that was an actor. Many of the plays are performed at the auditorium the seminar was held at. It was a fitting place for the memorial. 


 

The Right Path

Today I took a different path to class because I went early to read in the library. I came across the Cooper Fountain and my heart smiled. My daughter, Cooper, sent me a message that I am on the right path. She was stillborn in 2007 and is why I am in grad school today. I will be an amazing grief therapist. I have an amazing helper leading the way. 

  

Remembering Our Babies

I always say the name of a child when I see a memorial because that is what we want, for them to be acknowledged, for someone to know, to know that they were here and that they mattered.

I love these memorials at the zoo. What a great place for a child to be remembered.

These bricks are at a memorial at Craighead Forrest Park in Jonesboro. This one is for a baby born in 1973.

The statue is beautiful. The area is surrounded by flowers and benches. 

This family lost two daughters. 

My daughter Cooper was stillborn in 2007. The impact she has had on my life has been immeasurable. The choices I’ve made, the person I have become, attending graduate school, becoming a helper. I’m not sure what her memorial will be, I’m still working on that.

Tidying Up

If you had asked me if I have a lot of clothes I would have said “No Way, I have a very small wardrobe.” And this is true, I actually wear very few different things but I was shocked to see how many clothes and shoes actually own.    After reading “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” I put all my clothes in one pile like she said and it is shocking to see them all. It really helped put what I wear and need into perspective. 
 A great book. I’m excited to continue getting rid of all the stuff. 

Visiting the Grandparents

We spent a couple of days with mamaw and papaw this week. Mamaw is sick but adjusting to the new no sodium diet. They are spending all their time together and driving each other crazy. Our visit was a nice change of pace for them.
  
We walked down Scrivner Lane enjoying the scenery and looking for fossils. We didn’t find any good fossils but your pocket was full by the time we got back. 

I grew up riding my bike up and down this road with Mike and Jeff. I remember riding through tall grass and getting cockleburs all in my hair and mom cutting them out. Gidget Scrivner lived down at the very end and we rode down to her house. When we were little it seemed like a long way away. Not so far now.   

8 Years

My first-born daughter would have been 8 years old today. She was stillborn almost exactly thirty minutes ago…8 years ago.

My husband and I have the same conversation about her every year, “Wonder how different our life would be if she had lived?” I pretty sure we would never have moved to Maryville, Tennessee. We hated living in Greenville, MS, but I don’t think we would have moved with a 3-month-old. Although, my husband did point out we moved to Delaware with a 4-month-old. If we had not moved to Maryville, Harry would not have gotten his friend, Brian, a job there. Buckeye would never have been moved to Tennessee. Maybe we would have ended up in a different state at some point and loved it and never moved to Delaware. Never met my friends there, missed out on our trips to the ocean….so many good things in Delaware. Maybe we would never have come back to Paragould and then landed in Searcy.

My mom thinks I would have had Cooper and Cadyn, but what if we still would have had only one child. That I cannot even fathom.

And I certainly would not be about to attend graduate school in the fall. She has had such a wonderful impact on many lives, most especially mine.

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This flower bloomed 28 June, 2014 at the house we lived in Paragould. Cooper’s flower. I hope it bloomed today again this year. I miss this flower. I will plant one at our new house.

Today has been a day of memories but I try to keep looking forward… keep moving forward.