Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Capture Your Grief Day 1 - Sunrise

Today is a cold and rainy day in Wisconsin. I woke up early to make sure I was ready for work in time to take these pictures. The sunrise was said to rise at 6:51am so I left my house early to find a place to take my picture despite the rain and clouds.

I decided on going to the water just west of my house. The rain had stopped but it is still cloudy and I don't see the sun showing any time soon. So here are my pictures from today.

Sunrise in Wisconsin 
October 1, 2014

This accurately shows the drastic change we are starting to experience with the change of summer into fall. There are more cold, wet, rainy days to come. The leaves are changing, but you can't tell by this picture. I have a love and hate relationship with the fall and especially the month of October since losing Ana. I'm hoping that the next picture I took shows a glimpse of how beautiful and colorful it will be.

Yes, I lost my daughter in the fall. In October. I know she wouldn't want me upset. I'm still participating in Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness and I'm doing my first one tonight. 

Stay tuned!

Here's to a bright fall for all of us!

For more information on Capture Your Grief please visit CarlyMarie's page at

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What is October to You?

For many people, October means the beginning of fall. Children are back to school, school schedules are finally starting to sync with their children's habits. The football teams are just getting settled in and the Sunday football parties are in full swing.

Where I'm from, the leaves are beginning to change. October is the prime time for apple picking in the orchards or searching pumpkin patches for the perfect pumpkin to bring home. While others enjoy hay rides and haunted houses.

For some, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It's the most publicized October awareness campaign. I 100% support breast cancer awareness and research. It happens to run in my family and two of my aunts are battling this horrible, horrible illness.

For me, October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. It's a month to bring awareness to those babies who have passed through miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. It seems to be a taboo subject to talk about with family, friends and colleagues. The truth is it happens to 1 in 4 women.

I am one in 4. I lost my daughter on October 21, 2012. I want to break the silence around this loss because I have since met too many women with precious babies who are now flying high as angels. We feel alone because no one wants to talk about it with us. Our babies lived.

So this October:

Photo rights belong to owner. Found through Google.

As you think PINK, remember to add some BLUE! There are many angel babies watching over me and you!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Insurance - New Doctor

Well, I've had insurance through my new employer since the beginning of the year. I have waited this long to make a doctor appointment because I have been with this network for over 15 years and I'm scared of the switch. I'm apprehensive to say the least.

While I haven't had the greatest of treatment at the hospitals, I have built a relationship and trusted these doctors for over the past decade and I'm nervous about meeting new doctors. I will have to explain my health background as well as the loss of Ana which I'm sure will make me cry. The way this new doctor handles the initial appointment will either tell me that she is compassionate and willing to listen/learn/treat me with sensitivity or she will be like some of the other doctors I've seen and will be cold, blunt and want to rush me out of the office. I'm hoping for the first of the two situations.

I've been waiting this long because I've been on the edge on the next steps in my journey. I have to lose weight again and I need a plan. I need to have a plan for my PCOS and for fertility if it should take longer than expected. I want to be able to feel like there is hope in having another child down the road and not like I've had my only shot at motherhood and I blew it.

I'm nervous that she might say she can't even help me and that she will have to refer me to a specialist and I will have to, yet again, explain my situation to another doctor. I hope I chose the right doctor! August 1st we will find out!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Registry Surprise!

It was wonderful to log onto Ana's Angels after a long weekend to see a message from one of the moms who had their registry on Amazon. Here's the message I received:

  • Dearest Melissa Hamilton,

    Thanks so much for the pack of side-snaps you sent for my daughter, Ayla Rose Molina. Your random act of kindness was such a surprise and much appreciated. I love what you're doing in memory of your dear Annabelle and will be sure to pay it forward.

    May your angel continue to watch over you and your generous heart.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ana's Angels Feedback

I just wanted to update my readers on some of the feedback I've received since starting Ana's Angels. I received two very nice letters in the mail yesterday and I wanted to share them here. Thank you all for being so kind to me!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Stages of Grief

I would like to post this for my friends and followers... and for those that support them. Please note that this is only a guide. There is not "timeline" for grief or healing. These stages can also come in different or repeating orders. But I think it's been helpful for me to see it in a picture. And yes, I feel those loops accurately show the ups and downs that we face in our grief.

MY stages of grief (at 1.5 years out):
1. Anger
2. Shock and Denial
3. Depression and Detachment
4. Anger
5. Dialogue and Bargaining/Acceptance

Right now I would consider myself in between the dialogue and bargaining and acceptance. I think I still lead a meaningful life, I just struggle with accepting her loss. It will never be acceptable, but I do need to start thinking about a new plan.... thinking about what's next if I do have another child.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 28

DAY 28

Today was an unplanned act of kindness. I don't know these people but I know how it feels to have a pet run off. Tonight I was visiting a friend when all of the sudden we watched a neighbor's dog slip off her leash and start running down the street. I'm quite familiar with a dog (or two) that would run every time they got a chance and I couldn't help but start looking for Sonya. I spent an hour and a half this evening helping the neighbor look for her dog. Unfortunately, she still has not been found. She is a medium size dog with a patch over her eye. She is a possible Dalmatian/Lab mix. She is a puppy and she likes to run. She is micro-chipped but needed to be caught first. She was last seen in the Riverside Park/Bergstrom Mahler Museum area. Seen as far as Neenah Pool. Please, if anyone sees this dog please let me know. Thank you!

Photo Courtesy of Dog Vacay

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 26

DAY 26

Today I found out that a company close to my house was sponsoring a Glow4It Marathon tonight and they were using glow sticks to light their way shortly after sunset. I prepared myself, set myself up on the trail and handed out glow sticks! Here's the batch before giving them out. I will update the other pictures in the morning.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 25

DAY 25

A little background: The last time we went to Olive Garden in Appleton we had terrible service. We waited for about a half hour for our server to bring us boxes and the check, then even longer to bring us back the cashed check. She asked my friend "do you need change?" I gave the manager feedback only because I feel we spent more time waiting then we did eating.

Today we went to Olive Garden in Appleton and our server was Curtis. This gentleman was one of the best servers I've had. He brought us our appetizers and food quickly and he had it timed perfectly. He was friendly and personable talking about his child turning two and being at the age that just wants to move and explore. He brought us refills on our drinks without being asked and answered every question we had with a smile. 

It's servers like Curtis who make me want to give something to them like they have given something to me. Between my friend and I our bill came to $41.92. I had a $30.00 gift card so our bill only came to $11.92. My friend tipped the 20% (off the original bill - of course) and I decided that this gentleman deserved a little extra for the great service he put forth tonight. Thank you, Curtis, for restoring my faith in Olive Garden!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 24

DAY 24

Today I regret to say I was unable to fulfill a random act of kindness where I was able to give out a card. However, it's not always about giving out a card... it's about doing a random act of kindness that would make someone else feel better. I did hold the door open for several people as I was walking into the gas station this morning. It's not always the big things in life that make a difference. Sometimes a simple smile or a "good morning" or holding a door can go a long way.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 23

DAY 23

Today I helped a friend's child campaign for her school fundraiser. This year they are raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Walk to Cure Diabetes. I started by making the first donation of $15. We then made calls to family members and asked them if they would like to make a donation on behalf of her. I felt good helping out a child who wants to raise money for a good cause. She raised a total of $45 tonight and I'm very proud of her! Way to go Em!

To help this little girl reach her goal, please click here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

New Grave Decorations

You normally wouldn't think one would be excited about buying grave decorations. For most, it's not. But when the grave site is all you have of your child, you get excited about the smallest of things. Yesterday was her 1.5 year anniversary so I went to decorate her grave with new lights and decorations for spring. Here is what it looks like during the daylight.

I decided I'd be a rebel and visit her tonight make sure all of her lights are working properly. Here's what it looks like at night:


Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 22

DAY 22

I'm sure you're all wondering what happened to day 19-21. To be honest, I hit a bit of a depression with a side kick of a tooth ache and fell off the train for the past couple of days. I feel terrible about it. It hit me that yesterday (April 21) it has been a year and a half since I lost her. This breaks my heart to say it. There's days that it hurts so bad I don't know how I can go on. There are days that I feel great and hope she's smiling down on me. Today is another day in which I hope she's smiling down on me.

I went to the local Dairy Queen in downtown Neenah this evening. I've been trying to diet, but as you can see by my trip to DQ that, well, it's not going so well today. I felt something in the back of my head that was just telling me that I should pay for the order of the vehicle behind me. I paid for my order and asked the nice cashier if I could pay for the order behind me and if she would give her one of Ana's cards. She allowed me to and as I pulled forward and up to the street I watched as the lady behind me went to pay for her treat. She reached out to hand the cashier money and the cashier handed her Ana's card. Her look was a look that I will not forget. The shock on her face made my day. In the brief time I was stopped at the exit to the street, I saw her take the card and glance forward at my car. I just smiled. I hope that Ana touches her in a very kind and special way today.

The car behind me at DQ Neenah, WI
This photo courtesy of Neenah Dairy Queen Facebook

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness Day 18

DAY 18

A very supporting friend of mine owns Dickey's Barbecue Pit Appleton, WI and she ever so kindly donated a four pack of Timber Rattler tickets for tonight's game at 6:35pm!! I have these tickets in my hands and I will be heading there this afternoon to give them to some lucky baseball fans! Pictures to come tonight!!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ana's Angels Random Acts of Kindness DAY 17

DAY 17

Today I wanted to do something for someone that was close to me. Someone who maybe doesn't get the kindness or the thank you that they deserve day to day. So I decided that I wanted to do something for my mother. I bought her this beautiful flower... just because. Mom, if you're reading this... thank you for everything you do for me and our family. I love you!

P.S. Stay tuned for tomorrow's Random Act of Kindness sponsored by Dickey's Barbecue Pit - Appleton, WI!!!