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My Heart

My Heart

All items used in the creation of this layout (with the exception of the two photographs) are from the digital scrapbook kit titled, Autumn Reflections, by SKrapper Digitals.

The 'Use 3 Papers' requirement for this challenge has been fulfilled as follows:

- Background (used paper 14)

- Green, over layer (used paper 18 )

- Autumn scene within the brown frame (used paper 20)

The title text is BlackJack and the journal text is Basset

Journaling reads as follows:

My son Evan has been my life's greatest heart ache. Don't misunderstand, I don't mean this derogatorily, what I mean is that my heart has felt the most intense degrees of both love and sadness related to the life and death of my sweet angel, Evan. The day he was born he took possession of a huge chunk of my heart and he will own it (and me) for the rest of my life.

I didn't think I would ever have children. Initially - because I didn't want them (I was in a not-so-great 1st marriage and I knew that I was not yet mature enough to be responsible for a life separate from my own) and eventually - because I didn't believe I could (I suffered many 'female problems' and my doctor indicated that achieving pregnancy may be difficult).

Then along came Ed; the true love of my life. We had a whirlwind romance and married after only 5 months of dating (he must have been the 'right' one since we've now been together for over 21 years).

Two weeks after Ed proposed, I learned I was pregnant! Amazing! We were both so excited and the pregnancy experience created an even stronger bond between us (as I'm sure other first-time-parent couples understand).

I remember the truly amazing and all-encompassing feelings of love I felt for Evan in the instant after his birth, the moment when I first looked at him. An emotion that is intensely euphoric and that is impossible to adequately describe with words. I remember too that I suddenly felt connected spiritually to the world as a whole and to all the women before me who've experienced this joy of motherhood for the first time; my mother, her mother before her and so on. My heart was overflowing with love and here it was, so cliché but what I felt, the first day of the rest of our lives; and wasn't it going to be wonderful?!

Sadly for us and for Evan, however, 'wonderful' was not the way things went. Ten days after Evan was born he began to have seizures. The story of his life from that day onward is long, involving many medical tests and procedures, a plethora of doctor visits, special services and therapies, neurologists, geneticists and physiatrists (no that isn't a typographical error – physiatry is a specialized line of medicine), frequent episodes of pneumonia and other illnesses, ambulance rides and hospitalizations, surgery, respiratory problems, eating difficulties and feeding tubes, lots of medications and the list goes on. Watching my son, my baby, suffer through all of this and having to accept the fact that I, his care-giver, his guardian, his mother, am helpless here - I'm unable to fix him, to make him all better, to provide him with a life of pain-free joy - caused my heart to break over and over again.

We were told early on (when Evan was in his infancy) that he most likely would not live beyond age 2. Having never found a cause for his disabilities, nor a cure, we knew early that Evan's life would be short. You would think that this would prepare us for the inevitable but it does/did not. Three months after Evan's 13th birthday, he had another pneumonia caused by aspiration with one lung collapsed and he was unable to breath on his own. Rather than allowing him continued suffering, we made the difficult decision to remove him from life support. My sweet, darling, precious Evan died on the 18th of September, 2003.

Many people think and believe, and even say aloud, that 'time heals all wounds' and that the emotional pain we feel from a loss today will one day be gone. Well, I can tell you, from both my own experience and what I've culminated from others who've shared their experiences with me, those beliefs are untrue, perhaps most especially when it is a child loss. Grief, over time, may cease to be part of your every, single thought, becoming less intense and less emotionally disabling, but the truth is that grief remains. We eventually learn to carry on with our daily lives, establishing a new kind of 'normal', loving and laughing and finding joy once again, in other things and other beings, but the child we lost is still deep within our hearts and never, ever forgotten.


theStudio Picasso
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Registered: March 2008
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Posts: 1,780
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Date: Wed June 22, 2011
Views: 320
Dimensions: 600 x 600
Keywords: my heart


theStudio CT
Beautiful layout! Your journaling is outstanding. Although I haven't lost a child, I understand of what you speak regarding how grief changes our lives. I lost my Mama to cancer five and a half years ago. I experience joy and happiness today, but I have that thread of grief that is always a part of the joy now ... the joy is accompanied by the thought of how I'd love to share the joy with her if she were still here. The cluster of elements including Evan's photo is so nicely arranged. I love how you used the metal element as clips holding your journaled page to the layout. Terrific job!

#1 Wed June 22, 2011 18:24


theStudio Picasso
Tears. Prayers. Strength. Words escape me now as I hear the other side of the story, mine as the teacher, yours as the mother. Often I have thought of you this week, thinking maybe you would share your heart, your Evan, with us. I'm so sorry for your loss, which is something I've never experienced, but the joy you described in motherhood, that is oh so true! Evan was a beautiful, precious child, and I'm ever so grateful you opened your heart and shared him with us.

Your layout is beautiful providing the gorgeous background to your son's photo. I'm sure he spoke volumes with those expressive eyes, and the love he gave was unconditional. I love how you used the clasps to secure the layout. It is truly beyond words. Love and hugs to you, always!
Here's to more happy scrapping, and

Hugs from the he♥rt,


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#2 Wed June 22, 2011 18:32


theStudio Monet
What a heart-wrenching story! I cried for your loss when I read your words, and we are so blessed that you shared your story with us. I'm sure your grief will always be a part of you, but your joy in having Evan for that short time will always be there, too. You have made a beautiful page, so fitting for this challenge. Kudos!
#3 Wed June 22, 2011 18:38


theStudio Monet
I too cried from this story, my GREATEST fear is losing one of my boys, I do not think there is a greater lose. I send many blessings and prayers to you and your husband for I do not know how you get through something like that. May Evan's smile and memories forever be in your spirit. THX for sharing.
Rhonda J Johnson

aka Princess

#4 Wed June 22, 2011 20:01


theStudio Monet
fantastic page. beautiful shadows and composition. love it all.
For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. ~ Audrey Hepburn

Families are forever because love never melts.
#5 Wed June 22, 2011 20:02


theStudio Picasso
I don't think there could ever be a more painful lose than losing a child. And you're right, the pain never goes away. It's been 34 years since my dad died, and it still hurts. I don't think about it every day, or even every month, but when something triggers the memory, it hurts just as much, perhaps more actually since I was a child with a child's grasp of death. Your tribute to Evan is heartbreaking, touching and beautiful. He sounds like a wonderful boy and what a miracle that you had 13 years when they predicted no more than 2.
#6 Thu June 23, 2011 08:54


theStudio Designer
ohmygosh!! my eyes still haven't dried up after reading this ten minutes ago! ((HUGS)) I'm so sorry for your loss, truly, there is no greater loss than that of a precious child. I'm honored to have been some small part of this beautiful tribute to his memory. ((hugs)) stunning layout, i especially like all the extra details you added, like framing the painting etc. beautifully done

#7 Thu June 23, 2011 10:03


theStudio CT
This is all just stunning. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your heart.
#8 Thu June 23, 2011 12:15


theStudio Monet
Thanks so much for sharing your history.

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#9 Thu June 23, 2011 14:43


theStudio Monet
Rose, what a beautiful, beautiful layout. This must have been difficult to do. I'm so happy Evan is a part of your life and always will be. I believe families continue on after we die, so I hope you can look forward to many bright years ahead with your son in a world where he will be whole--not that it will take away the pain and emptiness now. Being a mother is such a blessing! So much joy and so much pain.

You are a master storyteller through your work. I've loved all your layouts. This one is so touching; we will all remember it. And it goes without saying, it's beautiful.
#10 Thu June 23, 2011 19:36


theStudio Monet
One question...in your beach layout, is that Evan? If so, how nice that he was well enough to enjoy the ocean.
#11 Thu June 23, 2011 19:42


theStudio Picasso


Originally Posted by redplaid3

One question...in your beach layout, is that Evan? If so, how nice that he was well enough to enjoy the ocean.

Sadly, because of Evan's seizures, he was profoundly disabled was not able to do anything for himself, not even hold up his head on his own so, no, that is not Evan in my beach photos, it is my other son, Ross, who was born perfectly healthy 2.5 years after Evan.
Thanks for asking redplaid3.
Rose Thorn

aka ladyofthethorns

My Digital Scrapbooking Blog

MY PERSONAL BLOG (life after a CVA)
#12 Fri June 24, 2011 07:35


theStudio Designer
Such a sad and emotional story, I don't think a parent can ever get over a death of a child. You created a lovely layout of Evan, beautiful clustering.
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#13 Fri June 24, 2011 11:12

Maurine Stettler

theStudio Designer
What a handsome young man, and what a touching, beautiful memory page. I type this with tears running down my face at the extraordinary love and honesty in your writing. I am especially moved by your last paragraph. Far too often, people want us to move on and "get over it" when we lose someone we love. Your words are far more real and how I feel. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful, personal page - great job!
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#14 Fri June 24, 2011 12:59

ADBDesign {anita_d}

theStudio Designer
What a wonderful job of journaling your heartbreak and at the same time celebrating Evan's life. My condolences on your loss.
ADB Designs

#15 Fri June 24, 2011 13:27

Ambowife Designs

theStudio Designer
Huge Hugs Rose, I am sure there is nothing I can say to comfort you in your loss. Your page is so personal and hearbreaking and beautiful all a the same time. so huge hugs to you dear!!
~~ Tracy ~~

Studio Designer ~ QC Liason
#16 Fri June 24, 2011 17:45


theStudio Artist
Such touching writing...so tragic to lose a chdil, made even more so personally by the fact that my own out of statetrip week is to visit my own son, Evan, where he serves in the Army. Thanks for sharing.
#17 Sat June 25, 2011 22:11


theStudio CT
oh Rose, you did this beautifully, such a moving memory page

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#18 Sun September 4, 2011 05:08

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