Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

I was very fortunate to grow-up in a sweet christian home, one that loved Jesus and and placed a great deal of value on family. Having never left my hometown, I am still surrounded by all of my family. We have so many family traditions, ones that were established many years ago and have been passed down generation after generation, so there's never a question as to where we'll be on the BIG holidays, we'll always be together with family. We don't have to plan where we'll be, what food we're taking and even whose going to be there - it's just tradition! We love our families dearly and always enjoy celebrating with them.

Since losing Tristan in January, we've had to change the way we are celebrating events right now. It's really been hard not having him here with us to celebrate so it causes me to be emotional on those particular days. I seem to be sheltering myself and my heart from all of these 1st events because of the fear I will breakdown and ruin it for everyone. I know my family loves me and it would be okay if I cried or was sad but really, who wants to be around that? I do want to be that same fun "event girl" that I've always been but I know it's just going to take some time and space. Events are hard because although I'm with all of my family that loves me, inside it's still sad because ALL of my family really isn't here - my little boy is missing. We are simply trying the best we can to get through all of these 1st events, without Tristan, in a way that is best for us or should I say best for me! We chose to celebrate Easter and Mother's Day by ourselves, just the 4 of us, which was a very wise choice - they were extremely hard. And, Father's Day, any other year, would have consisted of us going to church, sitting on the row with my family, going to lunch with my family and then ending up at my Dad/Step-mom's house. Because Mother's Day was so hard, and it literally took me 2 weeks to get back emotionally to were I had been prior to that weekend, we decided to go against everything we normally do. We slept in, got up and made a big breakfast, the boys gave their gifts/cards to Trayc and we headed to the beach.

We had so much fun! Tanner loves the beach but this was only Tayden's 2nd time (I know crazy isn't it? We live in Florida and we're only 10 min from the beach, go figure!). Tanner tried to teach Tayden how to build a sandcastle but all he wanted to do was smash the castles with his shovel. Tanner dug a big hole in the sand for Tayden to slide down into and play with his toys. Tayden loved running down to the edge of the water, letting his little toes get wet and then quickly turn around and run back laughing. Trayc and the boys spent a lot of time in the water together, jumping over the waves and swimming. It was a beautiful day. The sun was out, their was an ocean breeze, Trayc and I laughed, the boys played and we made some very special memories, ones filled with laughter and excitement. It was the perfect day, except that our precious little boy was greatly missed.

Happy Father's Day, Trayc


Thank you for being a wonderful husband of 18 years, for always believing in us, for never giving up, for leading our family spiritually, for teaching our boys about Jesus and for all of your love and support this past year through our journey with Tristan. Thank you for promising me, back in August, that we would not allow Satan to destroy us or our family because of this diagnosis and that we would use Tristan's story to honor and glorify the Lord no matter what. I also appreciate your patience during these past 6 months of grieving, your diligence in working on our foundation, working hard to consistently provide for our family and for keeping us faithful to our Lord. I look forward to all that the Lord has in store for our family in the upcoming year. I love you so much.

Your wife, Yvette


Happy Father's Day. You are the greatest dad.

Thank you for playing soccer with me, going up to the field to shoot my rockets, throwing the football in the yard and all the other things we do together. I really like spending alone time with you too like when we go kayaking for the day. I hope you have a great day. I love you so much!

I know Tayden can't talk yet, but I am sure he would tell you he loves you too and he would really thank you for keeping his "Thomas the Train" movies playing at all times of the day and night.

And, even though Tristan is not here I know he loved you so much and that he could see the love in your eyes and feel it when you talked to him and held him.

We love you,
Your 3 sons - Tanner, Tayden & Tristan

Psalm 128:1-6:

1 Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
who walk in his ways.

2 You will eat the fruit of your labor;

blessings and prosperity will be yours.

3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

within your house;
your sons will be like olive shoots
around your table.

4 Thus is the man blessed

who fears the Lord.

5 May the Lord bless you from Zion

all the days of your life;
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem,

6 and may you live to see your children's children.

Peace be upon Israel!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

6 months ago at 12:42

As I sit here writing this post it is 12:42 pm on June 3rd, exactly 6 months ago today my precious little boy, Tristan Asher Hostetter, was born. Trayc immediately placed his sweet little face against mine so that I could feel him, kiss him and tell him how much I loved him. This was the most incredible moment of my life, my little boy was here and he was ALIVE!!!! He even started crying, which is a sound I will never forget. Knowing the diagnosis of Trisomy 18, we were very unsure as to how long we would have with him, we literally lived in the moment. I am so thankful the Lord gave us time, 56 DAYS is more than we ever dreamed was possible.

It is hard to believe it's already been 6 months since that day. My mind has wandered alittle, thinking of all that Tristan would have been doing at 6 months old. It is in those moments that I have to make myself stop or I will be caught up in the "what if's" and that can become a very sad place to dwell. I try to turn those "what if's" into what we had - WE HAD 56 DAYS and we made so many memories in those 56 DAYS. We gave all we had to our precious little boy and held nothing back!

I have not really posted much recently, except for Tristan's award, Tanner's musical and a special prayer request for another T-18 family, but nothing real personal because ......... honestly, because I have struggled. I have really struggled since Mother's Day and I just didn't know what to write. Mother's Day really hit me harder than I expected because I was really good up until then. I felt like I was in the valley, I could see the mountain top but I just didn't seem to have enough strength to get out. Don't get me wrong, I have not been in the bed depressed nor have I withdrawn from life. It's a different kind of struggle, it's a quiet struggle within my heart as I am really missing my little boy and longing to hold him again. We are a very active family, constantly on the go and the only time we've ever truly slowed down was the 2 months Tristan was here. We're either doing home school, at soccer, at piano, at church, at church activities or family events and even if I wanted to stay in bed I can't - I have a 2 year old, which should explain itself. But now as the activities have finished until August, it has allowed for some down time which is not always good for the mind of a grieving mommy. So again, Tristan has become forefront in my mind. I want to be that same carefree, fun, loving, happy, on-the-go kind of girl but it seems so distant. Right now I am guarded. My heart is guarded. I am afraid of getting hurt, from anything or anyone, so I have withdrawn and quietly struggled. It's not just Tristan though, I've also recently found out about an extended family member that has received a diagnosis which is almost too hard for me to even bear therefore my emotions are a wreck, this is alot to comprehend just 4 1/2 months after losing Tristan. I've been better this past week though, I am on my way out of the valley and I can see the sun shining again!

I have been hesitant to share that I have been struggling because there is the pride part of me that wants everyone to think I'm still doing great and that I am strong. But, the more I have thought about it the more I realize I wouldn't be honest if I came across like that. I want my entries to be real, to portray the real me, the real pain, the real struggles of this journey. Why? Because whether tomorrow or 5 years from now, if a new mommy finds my blog I do not want her to feel like she is alone in grieving, I want her to know it's okay to struggle on the journey and that there are other mommies out there feeling the same way and those mommies are just an email away.

There are times I have felt so alone with these thoughts and feelings but then I go to the computer and check on my "Internet" friends and realize I am not, they are feeling the same way. I am so thankful for these friendships, little did I realize back in October when I met my first friend, Angie, how much I would need her and all the other girls who have come along. Although I did not post, I did email my sweet "Internet" friends weeks ago telling them of my struggle and asked that they pray for me. I greatly appreciate their emails, their love and their prayers for me the past few weeks. This is what true friendship is, this is what makes this journey easier.

The Internet has also become such a reality to all that is going on with other families around the world. My heart breaks every time I read of another family experiencing the loss of a baby/child. A part of me thinks that I should just stop reading about all these families but then I realize that had my friends felt the same way many months ago they would not have reached out to me, and I cannot imagine how I would feel without them in my life. I feel as though the Lord has given us Tristan's story to help others and I want to use that, not walk away because it would be the easy thing to do. I, along with many of my "Internet" friends, have been affected along this journey by friends who have walked away because they did not want to get involved or they did not know how to deal with the death of a baby, unfortunately life and death, no matter how long or how short, are a reality and what we need are our friends to be there! I never want to be the friend who walks away, I want to be the one who is there all the way to the end! The reward of being there every step of the way is seeing how the Lord turns your tragedy/loss into something beautiful. I have already seen this happen with my sweet "Internet" friend, Angie, 6 months from the day she lost Poppy Joy she was holding another precious little girl, Adrienne Christine, oh what a miracle! And there are so many other things that are happening among me and my "Internet" friends that have yet to be shared.

Even though I have struggled the past few weeks, I have such a peace about the life of our precious little boy. Although I do not understand why the Lord chose this for our family I am so thankful He entrusted us with Tristan knowing we would love him with all that we have and that we would never question why or turn from our Lord. We love our Lord more than ever before and we know He is in control. This has been a hard journey, but we would do it all over again even if it was for a brief moment like the picture above.

I would ask that you please pray for our family as we continue to move through the grieving process, as we are still working on the foundation and as we are making some very exciting plans for the future......check back soon to find out what they are.

This is the slideshow we showed at Tristan's "Celebration of Life" service on January 30, 2008. I am sure many of you have already seen it, but I know there are some who have come along our journey since then, so I thought I'd repost it. Today was the first time I have actually watched it since the service. These are 112 pictures of the 1600 we took that shows God's faithfulness to our family.

Isaiah 65:20 says: "Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed."