Thursday, March 17, 2011


My heart is filled with anguish for all the things we didn't get to do... never getting to hear his laugh or cry, never being able to lay in bed with him and Brad, morning walks by the lake, celebrating Doug's 1st birthday, 1st word or 1st step, laying him down in the crib I painted in the room that is filled with his clothes, toys, pictures and books. But, I am also filled with gratitude, for the handful of times I was able to change his diaper, having story time each night, watching Brad and Dougie listen to music, when he opened his eyes and stared into mine and the dozens of times his little hand wrapped around my finger and squeezed. I suppose I will spend the rest of my life trying to balance out the heartbreak of losing him, but also treasuring the precious six and a half weeks we had with him. And I know I will spend the rest of my life missing him, his sweet eyes that saw right into
your soul when he glanced at you, the calm and peaceful look to him after he had a massage from mommy or while he listened to music with daddy, and his smell.... his perfect scent that was so wonderful it's impossible to describe. I pray I will never forget.
Brad and I are constantly being commended for our strength, everyone tells us how they would never be able to go through what we've been through and survive, and people ask how we are able to function, because if it were them, they wouldn't be able to. And to be honest, I don't know how we are functioning; most days feel like a blur to me, we are keeping busy enough to get through each day then on to the next; Because - what choice to we have? If we don't have the strength, we have to find the strength for our son.
Don't get me wrong, I could lay in bed all day let the tears get the best of me and have each day drag on and on. But what good would that do? It won't get me to see Dougie any sooner, it won't bring him back, it won't heal my heartache, and I have never been one to feel sorry for myself or whither in self pity - so I will take one day at a time. It is what it is and we have to accept it and get through it, for him. 
Brad and I would like to thank everyone who was able to make it to Dougie's Services, I cannot express how amazed we were with the amount of people who came to celebrate Doug's short and beautiful life. 250 chairs surrounded the room and yet there were still dozens of people standing. In the front and center of the room was Dougie's casket.... custom made for our little man. We couldn't have asked for a better pastor to speak for Douglas, Pastor Sam did a beautiful job and made everyone feel comfortable. Thank you to Jess for speaking, I know how hard it was for her and we appreciate her kind words and also putting together a play list for the ceremony. Thanks to my mom who, although loved the podium a little too much, kept it lighthearted and made everyone laugh their tears away. I am soo grateful that Dougie's favorite nurses Jamie, Charlene and Kristen were able to make it to the services and speak of their experience in the NICU with our
little man. Other than Brad and myself they knew him the best and loved him so so much. I think everyone in the room was blown away by Katelyn and Jake's performance of Dougie's favorite song 'Godspeed Little Man', it was one of the most beautiful things I'd ever heard and I am sure most people would agree with me. Kevin made a wonderful video montage with pics of Doug, and video we had from our days in the NICU, I will treasure that forever.
A million thank yous to Dougie's Grandpa's, Grandma's, Uncle's, and Aunt's for completely taking over and planning this beautiful day for us. Because of you Brad and I were able to relax, We appreciate it so so much.
Thanks to Santora's for hosting an amazing fundraiser for us. Brad and I are so grateful for everyone's generous donations, wonderful words of comfort, all of the beautiful flowers and gifts we've received. To those of you who have tried mailing things to our house I apologize if they were sent back to you, since Brad and I were not home for a few months the mailbox was full, so the post office sent all of our mail back to sender. Our address is still:

36 Calle Bella
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688

God Bless Our Little Man,

Brad and Mere
ANNOUNCEMENT: A wonderful friend, Stephanie Bongartz, has organized a Silent Auction Fundraiser to help Mere & Brad as they adjust to the world outside CHOC NICU and a life without their son.  It will take place on Sunday, March 27 at 2PM at the Mission Viejo Elks Lodge.  This is also meant to be an afternoon of fun and a chance for Mere & Brad to share their memories of Dougie with the people they love and who have come to mean so much to them.  Everyone is welcome!
For more information, please contact:

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