Monday, August 11, 2008

Our last 3 weeks with McKallister



So I've been having a hard time writing what I want to about this experience and so I just thought I'd share what we have been doing and how we have been handling everything. On the day that Mac would have been one month we got together with our family and had a little Birthday party for McKallister. We went up to his grave and had cupcakes and sang happy birthday, and then just played and hung out together. I have been so grateful for my families support and being so willing to come to things like this...it's helped me more then anything else.

The next Tuesday I decided I was ready to clean out his room...good thing for Mom's and Sister's! My sister being the photographer she is of course took pictures for me of things I had set up in Mac's room or items that he would have used. That was amazing for me and I am so glad that she has the talent she does. My Mom really did all the packing away for me. I just handed her clothes, toys, stuffed animals, picture frames, shoes, diapers, bath toys, etc. and she organized them and seperated them into boxes. After she was done with that I decided that I just couldn't part with taking the crib down or the changing table so that is still set up in his room. I didn't think it would be hard to pack everything up because he hadn't used any of it yet...but I guess I never realized how much I visualized how everything would have been. I imagined myself changing him at night into cute little pj's with his baseball lamp turned on, or trying to make him smile in his crib with a little stuffed animal. I even imagined changing all those poopy diapers and honestly miss the chance to do that...

My family and friends in the last month and a half not only showed their love through staying up for countless hours to comfort Josh and I, traveling miles to see a nephew and cousin, delivering flowers to brighten up my room and mood, created a blog in memory of Mac, offered blessings of comfort, made blankets for me and McKallister to share, allowed me to share in the sealing of their son, entertaining me while Josh is at work, babysitting Alex so my Mom and Dad could be with me in my time of need, visit Mac’s grave, take off work to be with us, smiled and laughed when I didn’t know there was anything good in this world but they were there for us no matter what it cost them, they were our friends, they lent a listening ear, prayed for us, and think of McKallister as family.

Even though I never saw Mac alive I felt like we were best of friends and I know so much about him. I wanted to share some of the things that I remember about Mac so that you can see not only pictures but the kid behind the pictures…

Mac always had the hiccups and did not like them! He was playful- he was always moving, kicking, and rolling around, he even played pick- a-boo with us at the first ultrasound! He was terrified of zerbits (ya know, when someone blows a raspberry on your stomach to make a toot sound) whenever someone would zerbit one side of my tummy he would try to “escape” out the other side. He loved warm showers. Whenever my front would be facing the shower my stomach would be all out in front and huge, when I’d put my back in the shower I could feel him move to my back and my stomach would shrink down like there wasn’t anyone in there. If I laid on my side he would lay on the couch or bed too so that my side not touching the couch or bed was completely flat and he didn’t like when I laid on my back and would kick my spine every time I did. I will cherish and remember every trait he had while he was alive because those are the only memories I will ever have of his movements.

I find myself fighting to get past every week, day, minute, hour and second without my little one. I have faced every emotion, whether it is anger, overwhelmed, frustration, sadness, confusion, loneliness, scared, wanting, emptiness, patience, comfort, loved, hated, happiness and heartache. I still have an empty feeling every day and struggle that I will never know what it feels like to comfort my baby at night, play in the sunshine with him, kiss his chubby cheeks every day, or get him in and out of the car. It kills me to have never felt his big ol’ hands hold my finger tight, see his eyes look at mine, hear his baby cry and laugh, and I will never be able to see him smile at me. When the day ends I realize that I feel so alone and lost without Mac. I find myself promising Heavenly Father that I will be a good Mother and that I will try my best to raise my kids in the gospel and pray He will send me another little one that I can keep for this short time on earth. I beg Him to help me get past this trial and learn all that I can from it and to help me stay positive. I plead with him to help me get through one day without feeling scared and alone. But after all of those feelings I feel comfort, peace, love, and even though I miss my McKallister more then I can possibly explain I feel a small peaceful feeling. I will never be able to hold Mac again but I will always be able to feel his tender love surround me.

During this past month I faced something that I never even imagined. I questioned, I withheld, I screamed, I sat in silence, I searched for an explanation, I wished, I cry…no sob, but in the end I have learned how to love stronger, I have gained a knowledge of the atonement, I have learned how to pray from my heart, I realize that I have the honor of being with my family for eternity. I have built a foundation to qualities such as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. I have studied the prophet’s teachings, scriptures, and talks more deeply. This has been an experience that I will never forget and even though I wish with all of my heart that it didn’t happen, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I LOVE McKallister more than I ever imagined I could love someone and He taught me so much about family. I owe my little guy everything and am so glad that he is happy.

We got the preliminary results back from the Dr. at my 6 week appointment and learned that he had an ebrasion on the left side of his neck. From those results they would assume it was a cord accident. His umbilical cord was also 82 cm long when they are normally 60 cm so that would help support that theory. I have not gotten every detail from the autopsy back yet, I should get them back shortly. I think that I would be ok if it was a cord accident because that is not something that my body did or that my health did...I'll be sure to update everyone once we know the cause of death for sure.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and comments on or blog. Thank you every family member that has "put up with us" the last month and a half and for all of the generous things each of you has done for us. Thank you everyone who offered a smile or a hug when I was feeling down and I just want to say a big thanks to Josh...I honestly have to say that Josh has been my biggest support system and I am so glad that he has been willing to stay up with me at nights, or be the shoulder I cry on. He has cheered me up when I thought I was as low as it got and never stopped loving me. I am so glad that I married him and that he is the man he is. Basically THANK YOU to everyone that has been my friend during this time...you are all amazing and have helped Mac fulfill his mission and for that I owe you all so much.

Sorry this is such a long post and that I just kind of ramble...I'm not so good at composing my thoughts and creating even a sentence that makes sense! :) Thanks again and you'll be hearing from me shortly!

30 comments:

Marc and Megan said...

Cali, this is such a beautiful post. My own heart aches with so many of the same feelings. I appreciated hearing the way that you expressed everything. Thank you for being such a comforting support for me. Please know that you're always in my thoughts and prayers.

carrie said...

Cali, I am probably intruding, once again, but I had to comment on here. :o) What you wrote was beautiful. My family and I have really learned so much from all of you during this heartbreaking time in your life. What an amazing baby you had....who taught us all so much. I've shared some experiences with Erin through emails....and I hope she's told you how Mac's life has touched so many lives. We are people who don't know you....but feel as if we do. :o) My son, Matthew, thinks Josh is THE coolest. He loved being at the UVU baseball camp with him....and he talked about how nice Josh was to him. He wrote a letter to him and was so nervous to give it to him. We also have a gift, too, which Matthew forgot to take to the camp. We'll have to give it to Eric Madsen to give to him. Anyway, the admiration I have for the strength you guys have shown cannot even be put into words. I've gone through some hard times in my life....but definitely not with the dignity and courage you have. You are everything a Mother should be. Mac would be so very proud of you. Keep your chin up...and remember that there are a lot of us praying for you guys. We haven't forgotten about you and what you must be continuing to deal with and feel emotionally. None of us have forgotten Mac, either. :o) Matthew even told us, "I feel like Mac was a part of OUR family". I hope you don't mind this long and rambling comment. It's late....but I wanted to write to you while I had a little bit of quiet time. Take care of yourself and thank you again, from the bottom of my heart, for being so honest and generous by sharing your story with so many of us. :o)

Chris Linds & Maddie said...

Cali
You are so amazing! You are such a strong girl and are truly an example of faith to everyone! I have watched you through this trying time in your life, and you never cease to amaze me at how wonderful you are. I am so glad to have you as my friend, and I know Heavenly Father knew that you would be faithful enough to handle this trial you've been given. We pray for you guys and Baby Mac everyday. We love you!

Lance, Tiff n Ash said...

Cali, I love you! You're such a strong person, I admire you so much. I once heard a mother who lost her two kids to a car accident say, "I would give anything to have my kids back, but please dont take away what Ive learned." Thats sounds similar to what you said in your thoughts & it says so much.. God sent your little angel here for so many reasons and in the process he touched SO MANY people. Im so very grateful that you've shared your precious moments throughout this blog, its given us the ability to follow along and learn and watch you grow... and in that process we've been strengthened. Thanks again. And we love you guys.. please let us know if we can be of service to you. Even if its just hanging out to get your mind off things- we'd LOVE to help in any way!

The Curtis Family said...

Cali, you ARE an amazing mom!!! You have learned so many virtues and traits in these last few short weeks, that take most moms years and years to really understand. I am sure little Mac is so proud of you and brags about his incredible mom on the other side. :) I bet he is cheering you on and is anxious for the day your family is reunited when you can share your motherly characteristics physically with him. This experience will surely make you an even better mom for those babies that follow... Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I have learned so much from you and Josh and Mac that it has given me a stronger desire to be a better mom. You hit the nail right on the head when you said, you wish you didn't have to go through this hard trial but you wouldn't trade it for the world. It is during those hard trials that we are closest to our Heavenly Father, and for you your angel Mac. I hope you don't mind the long comment from a "random supporter" but since Nancy told me about your blog I've been addicted to your updates. :) Thanks again for sharing your lessons as it has increased my faith and desire to be better. -ShaRee Curtis (Scott's wife)

Christine said...

I have been returning to your blog to see when you might get on and post again... I was so excited to see that you have:)

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feelings. It really is amazing the emotions we experience in times like this. When you talked about prayer and pleading with your Heavenly Father for help and comfort, I was overwhelmed. I know 'that' prayer too well... it feels like yesterday when I knelt for comfort and felt so overwhelmed that I could barely breath with the sobs.

You are such an amazing woman, wife, and mother! I am so grateful to have the opportunity to learn from you and share experiences. Your family and friends are so very lucky to have you- especially Mac, who loves you more than we can comprehend.

I hope you don't mind my blog visits/comments/friendship:)

Lots of love and prayers are sent your way.

Christine

Jenni Runyan said...

Thank you so much for that post. You said a lot of things that I haven't been able to.
I will be praying for you and Josh.
Our little babies are dancing with Jesus!

TJ said...

Cali and josh- I love you guys so blasted much! I'm so proud of you for sharing your feelings even though that is probably so hard to do. and you don't ramble. Your writing is beautiful. :) I can never pretend to know what you are going through, but through your example I can be a better mom someday, or even just a better person. When baby #2 comes along I am confident that you will be the best at all those things that you're missing. Josh, thank you for being so strong for my sister. You help her so much and I love you for that. I love my nephew with all of my heart, and when I see him again, I will always have gum. :) Let me know what I can do for you.

Erin said...

Tears are streaming down my face just like I knew they would be. That was absolutley beautiful Cali!!! You are both so amazing! The other night at Randy & Mike's birthday party when you said you were only 20 years old--soon to be 21 :)--it really struck me. I guess I forgot how young you are and I just thought to myself, wow, you are so young to have already had to handle one of the most grueling trials anyone could ever have to go through, but yet you've endured it with such great maturity! I just can't even put into words how much I love, respect, and admire both you and Josh.

Creating Mac's blog has been an absolute honor for me. I want you to know that I felt Mac guiding every part of the blog--the way the video's should be made, the pictures to be used, and what I should say. The time I spent creating the blog will forever be precious to me because it's time I feel I got to spend with little Mac.

I will also never forget seeing Mac at your first ultrasound. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me be there. I remember feeling the Spirit so strong as I watched his little legs kick and him move around. I could just feel that he was going to be a special little boy. He turned out to be far more special than any of us ever imagined he would be!

Josh and Cali, I love you guys so much! Thank you for your example of faith through this experience. We have all be strengthened so much by your example. You are both AMAZING!

With Love,
Erin

Kalyn said...

Cali, you are truely amazing! I admire your spirit at such a young age! I wish it hadn't happened as well, but always remember we all love you and are here for you when ever we need us! The things you wrote were beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!
Love, always Kalyn

Jen said...

Josh and Cali,

You don't know me but I (and many others) have been touched by your blog for sweet Mac. As a mother I cannot imagine what the two of you are experiencing. My brother & wife had twins and one of them passed on the day he was born and it was SUCH a tough experience but one that brought the Spirit in our lives so strong. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for sharing Mac with the rest of the world!

Jen Coy

Meggie said...

I can not begin to tell you what an amazing woman your are! I am in awe at your strength. I know that the Lord is watching over you. I can't imagine what you and your husband have been through. As I hold my little girl, I think that I need to appreciate the little things she does. You have made me want to be a better mother, to cherish all the little things. Thank you so much for your sharing your feelings with us.

I am so glad that I came across your blog and the blog in honor of Baby Mac. I know that they Lord will be with you & your family in the many days & months to come.

PS I hope you don't mind me looking at your blog. I feel so attached!

The Maughans said...

WOW! Just when I think I can't be more amazed by my children you pull off a beautiful tribute, not only to Mac, but also the incredible people who have supported you!! It is written with such love and devotion... I didn't know you were such a good writer! I love you with all my heart and am so lucky to be your mom and Mac's Nanny. Thanks for being mine!!

Shaun, Suzee, Caden, Abbie, & Berklee said...

Cali & Josh, thank you for sharing everything! Thank you for letting us be a part of his short time here on earth and for sharing your feelings. You both have grown in so many ways. I know Mac is so proud of his parents! We love you guys!

Jenn said...

Another stranger lurking on your blog...:)

I am so impressed by your strength! I was definately not this strong when I was just a month out of my loss. Even though it's been years for me, the ache came back as if it were yesterday while I read this post.

Time will heal you...but there will never be a day that will pass without a thought, memory, and smile of your sweet little guy. Mac's life had so much meaning....and I just wanted you to know that sharing in just a bit of your story through your blogs has completed one more piece of my puzzle of healing. It helps me so much to see where you are and realize how far I've come...take heart that you'll get here too!

Sarah said...

Cali- you are probably sick of hearing from me :) I am so grateful to know you and have learned so much from you. You are like no one else I have ever met. Thank you for talking with me and sharing with me. You and Josh have touched my life. I'm so proud of you for having the courage to share your feelings and I am impressed as always with your maturity. I really do love you.

Randy & Rachel said...

Cali, Wow! You are truly amazing. The words you wrote about Mac were so sweet. I love talking about him and especially listening to you talk about him. It makes me smile to remember the day I was able to meet and hold Mac. The spirit was so strong, I never want to forget the feeling I felt. You and Josh have really strengthend my testimony over the last few months. You both are so strong. I can't imagine what you have truly been going through. I have longed to care for a child just like you here on this earth. Your day will come. The lord WILL hear and answer your prayers. Just like he answered mine. Be patient. I am so glad you are apart of our family. Thank you for your strength. Don't hesitate to call if you need anything. I Love You Both! Rachel

Ike and Bethany said...

Josh and Cali, I love you guys so much. Cali I am so glad you shared your experience with everyone. You are so strong and I know others will learn so much from you and Josh through your example and faith. I also want to thank you and Josh for sharing Mac with us, for the chance we had to hold him in the hospital. I can't wait to see him again and to give him a huge hug and to thank him for all that he has done for me and helped me realize how important family and friendship is. I love you guys so so much. You guys are always in our prayers.

Jessica said...

I hope you don't mind me commenting, but I came across your blog and read your entire story. I am filled with a sense of loss that I can't explain, but I feel the need to express to you that I felt the spirit profess to me that Mac is with his father in heaven waiting for you. And though each day feels like forever, one day you will see him again- and your time away from him will only be for a short while. You will see him again, and you will get to raise him in a better world. What an amazing miracle that we know that.

My heart just feels like it is breaking as I have sat here a cried for your pain and experiences. Sweet baby Mac, I will remember him too.

May Heavenly Father continue to strengthen you and your husband as you journey through this time of sorrow. My family will be praying for you and your family.

Sarah Garner said...

Amen to everything everyone else has said. That was beautiful Cali, what an amazing tribute to what we can become when we look at things from the Lords perspective. He must have amazing things in store for your little family to start you off with such a refining experience.

Mac will always be close, I know that without a shadow of a doubt. You won't always feel him. I was very disturbed the first time I went to the temple after my daughter was stillborn in February. I thought for sure I would get some kind of sign from her or at least feel her presence. I felt the spirit, but not necissarily her. But I felt the spirit tell me very strongly, "She's busy, she has work to do". That was almost more comforting than feeling her right by me. Just remember, Mac has work to do. He continues to progress just as you will during this life. But the Lord will allow him to be near you when it really counts, I can testify from my own experience.

I hope you don't mind me commenting again (I left a comment on Macs blog). I came across your blog and check in every once in a while to see how you are doing.

You continue to be in my prayers.

Sarah Garner
Savannah's mommy

Hinckley Family said...

Wow, what an insight into the mind of Cali Hinckley. I loved the stroll, it was good for me to read that. I already knew how great of a person you were, but now that is solidified.
I really enjoyed lunch with you and Josh the other day. We should do it again, meet up or something during the week.
I know that you will be a mother in this life because you are perfectly ment to be one. And that child will be one of the luckiest children born to the earth to have you and Josh as parents. I sincerely mean that! And his family won't be half bad either!!!!

Mandy said...

You don't know me but I am so impressed with your honesty in sharing your thoughts and feeling about what you have been through and continue to go through.

I think that you are so brave for opening up your heart to us who know you and don't know you.

I have a son who was born with multiple abnormalities and has had to have 5 surgeries in his short 5 years of life. When he was born, I felt a lot of the same things you do. Although your experience is different from mine and my husbands, we experienced that same feeling of loss for a time. We felt we had lost the chance at having a normal, healthy child and we worried that we had done something wrong to cause him to be born different. But everyday was a journey...and still is and we would never trade what we have or the experiences we are blessed with because of him.

The Lord knows our hearts and he really does answer our prayers. He does hear us and our pleadings. In a time that is so trying and difficult, it is hard to feel that we are heard, but I know through my experience, that He does hear us.

You have an amazing support system and that is so important in a time like this. Each day will become a little easier as you continue to go forward with faith. The Lord will never give us more than he knows we can handle and for you to be able to handle such a hard thing at such a young age must mean that you are pretty special and that he has something really amazing in store for you. I really hope that makes sense.

Thank you so very much for sharing your story with all of us. You are clearly loved by so many.

Mandy Collins
-Canada-

Jessica said...

Cali,

Once again the tears are flowing!!! I was soooo glad to get on your blog yesterday and see that YOU had posted. Don't get me wrong, Erin is absolutely amazing. She kept us posted and all of her blogging was so awesome. I knew this would be a stepping stone for you to actually be able to reach out and express your thoughts to all of us that have been worrying and praying for you so I was happy to see you had been able to do this.

Thank you so much for sharing your emotions and feelings about your experience!!! I know this must have been extremely hard for you. Baby Mac was a blessing to the world. Seriously... he has touched thousands of hearts and strengthened so many testimonies. We love you with all our hearts and continue to pray for you while you travel through this journey that has been chosen for you.

I know you will have several more opportunities to do all the things that you dreamed of doing with Mac and I can't wait to see both of you being able to do this. We will continue to pray for your beautiful family!

Emily said...

Just like so many people already know, your strength is incredible. I have watched as you have tried so very hard to let life move on, to smile again, & maybe even laugh:) I'm sure that Mac is very proud of who you are & that is why there is such an outpouring of love & concern for you. He is up there touching peoples hearts in your behalf so that you will not be left comfortless. You & Josh are both truly amazing & I am blown away by how well you have been able to manage such a wide range of emotions. I'm so proud of you & I love you very much!!

TC said...

Cali,
You are so blessed to have the knowledge you have at this incredibly difficult time in your life. The gospel brings you assurance that you will be with Mac one day. Family means more and the bond grows stronger in times like these. The sealing power is comforting to know you will be together always! The Lord never leaves you stranded. I know you have been closer to your Heavenly Father and your family because of this. Your baby Mac is most precious and always will be your number one son! You've been in our prayers and are loved more than you can imagine!
Love,
TC,Jim & little Jimmy

Young Family said...

I love that you had a party for Baby Mac. I feel that the more we talk about our special babies the closer we feel to them. It has been eight and a half months since my baby Scott died. I still think of him daily and have my share of tears.
Just recently we were able to bury his remains. It has brought me so much comfort to be able to go to his grave.
Please know that I have been thinking about you so much lately. If you ever want someone to talk to please contact me. I would love to meet you and hear more about you and your baby and be able to share about my baby. I am amazed at how many babies Heavenly Father has called back home recently. I'm sure this children and such strong valiant servants of our Father in Heaven.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through a friend of a friend's blog and have been checking back to see how you are doing. I wish you the best of luck. I can see your faith in God is helping you through this very trying time. Even though you don't know me. I'm thinking of you and wishing you the best.
Nicole B.

Tiffany said...

Cali, it is all I can do to hold back the tears weld up in my eyes right now and my heart is aching for you and Josh. More than anything I would love to give you a great big, tight, squeeze hug and tell you how much your heavenly father loves you and feels your pain. You will always have a special place in your heart for Mac, I am sure he is in heaven rooting for his mom and dad, and thanking heavenly father for such a wonderful mother.Waiting for the day you three will be together again. The toughest things in life make you who you are....(don't you just hate that.)I hope you don't mind me reading your heartfelt post. I have been praying for your peace of mind and comfort and will continue too. Hang in there.

Love from Canada...
Tiffany Sloan.
www.tiffanysloan.blogspot.com

The Dalton Fam said...

Thank you so much Cali for sharing your experience with all of us! I can't even begin to describe the love, sadness, strength and so many other feelings I have every time I read an update on you guys!

Just so you know, my husband Eliot played with Josh and he is very touched by your story in a way that is very beneficial to our family. We are not sealed in the temple and we have 3 children of our own. The more we read of your blog, the more we know we absolutely need to get to the temple! I am so thankful for the opportunity to experience Mac's spirit. It truly is amazing and both your's and Josh's is aswell!

Thank YOu! -Emily

Randi said...

I don't know you, I've been blog-hopping. But I just wanted to say that I am so sorry for your loss. What a tragic event to live through. For what it is worth you will be in my prayers as you continue on this difficult journey of life.