Visit often, new things always being added

A sample of my handcrafts for sale

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I've been thinking a lot about my little grandson, Mason.  His 4th birthday is coming up in just a few days on Monday, January 25th.  Our family lost his mom, my 37 year-old daughter, this past August quite unexpectedly.  When she was pregnant and expecting Mason, his doctor forecasted due-date was to be May 12th of 2006, and I believe that was Mother's Day that year.  However, her water broke on New Years Day, and at that moment in time all of us, except for my husband, believed that all was lost and that Mason was not going to be.  My parents were still here from WV on their Christmas visit with us, and we all scurried to the local hospital where we did not receive a very good prognosis for Mason's future.  They did not have the necessary medical equipment on hand to try to save a baby born that early in gestation.  He was not even far enough along to be considered on the "cusp of life" in this particular county.  Medically speaking, aborting this pregnany was strongly advised at this point in time.  He did not have a good chance for survival if he was born this early; and, if he did survive the birth, he would more than surely be severely deformed and riddled with multiple disabilities that no parent would desire to cope with should he live.  Given those odds, he probably wouldn't live a long life even if he did manage to survive the birth so early.  - - - Of course, we had a huge family confab.  This was her first pregnancy, and she wanted the baby more than anything in life.  Her own medical history included several physical problems which made conceiving and carrying a baby difficult.  She had been advised to have a hysterectomy due to severe progressive endometriosis which is very painful for females to live with.  She and the biological father of this child had fallen out of "love" slightly before before they were aware of being pregnant.  When he was informed of the pregnancy, he asked her to abort it, that it just wasn't in his plans with him being 44 yrs. old at the time, never having been married and having no other children.  Needless to say, with their desires being so opposite, this put a permanent wedge between them.  - - - I am a Christian.  When my daughter asked me privately what I thought she should do knowing the whole situation and all the advice we were getting, I had to take that question as the most important question I had ever been asked.  I knew what the risks were; I had worked in a medical clinic for 26 years.  My advice was simple.  There is a life there, one that you wanted more than anything, so I believe we keep our faith, give this to God, and be willing to deal with the outcome.  In other words, we make every effort humanly possible to give this baby a fighting chance at life and God will take care of the rest.  We got her on a wait list to be moved to another hospital out of county as soon as a bed opened up.  In the meantime, she was willing to lie still on the flat of her back 24 hrs. a day to keep what little fluid was around her fetus intact and try to gain fluid in the womb if she did not progress on into labor.  - - - She laid quietly until January 18th.  She used a bed pan and let nurses and family give her sponge baths and wash her hair in bed.  She tried not to sneeze or cough even because that would cause her to lose a small amount of precious fluid.  We took her books, magazines, movies to watch, hand-held battery operated games to play, music to listen to, and visited every day; sometimes twice daily.  Then we moved her by ambulance to a larger medical university hospital almost 3 hours away.  - - - There seemed to be a ray of hope with that move.  This medical staff did also advise us of all the possible negativities we may encounter, but in the same breath they let us know that they would do everything humanly possible to help save her baby.  We felt strengthened somehow.  One week later, labor began and Mason was born into the hands of a team of 12 physicians standing there to receive him.  My youngest daughter was in the delivery room for the birth and nearly fainted at the site of him since she has two children of her own and knows what a full term infant is supposed to look like.  She was still gray in color when she came to find me afterwards.  Mason had stopped breathing during the birth, which, by the way, was very quick due to his size.  He was born without lungs yet, only the buds where lungs were to be later.  He was resuscitated and sustained by equipment and went straight into an incubator with round-the-clock professional eyes upon him. - - - We are kind of old fashioned as a family.  Even though sonograms of Mason before birth were performed almost every day in both hospitals, my daughter had decided she did not want to know the sex of her baby until it was born.  She had also vowed to her own baby that she would not leave his side until he could go home with her, and she kept her word.  Six months it was until they traveled home, together. 

I'm thinking and remembering things.  I remember when we looked at each of those sonograms, all we could see was these two gigantic round eyes looking directly back at us, and it reminded me of those eyes you see on aliens in the movies!  Mason was 1 lb. 8 oz. at birth.  He now weighs about 28 pounds on last check.  He is a tad smaller than most kids his age, but he definitely has more spirit and sheer determination than most too.  His mom would stick her hand in through the incubator glass, and he would wrap his little hand around her pinky finger so tight that you could see his skin turn pink from the clench he had on her.  And they stayed that way, inseparable.  The Ronald McDonald House was her home right behind the hospital for six months, and what a wonderful organization that is when one has a need to be housed like that near their hospitalized child!!  Mason means "strong, fighter, spirited", and he is definitely all that.  He ripped his own wires and tubes out 12 times while in the incubator.  He suffered a kidney stone, seizures, a dangerously elevated potassium level which can be lethal, and orthopedic surgery on his right foot to straighten it up all while in the incubator. 

I am thinking . . .  He survived.  Doctors worried that he would be retarded, but he is not, and he seems to be sharper intellectually than children of his age.  He speaks well, talks a lot, retains everything, doesn't forget things.  He seems to study things, he is always quite serious looking.  He is inquisitive and likes to take things apart to see what makes them tick, thinking like an engineer.  They worried that he would be deaf, but he can hear a pin drop in the next room.  They worried that he would be blind, but he can spot small jewelry beads in the grass in the park and gathers them; I'm talking about ebeads which are about one millimeter in size! 

I am thinking . . . He has no disability, except for being without his mom now.  This causes me to think and ponder his future and has prompted me to make a decision.  They lived with me for over two years, and now his daddy has taken him to raise.  Luckily we all live close, so we can still be part of his life.  Mason's dad is a self-employed handyman, and I know he loves Mason and will take good care of him.  But I am worrying about the future, things like a college education for Mason, etc.  The Lord must certainly have big plans for Mason, for he survived against all odds. 

I've decided to start my own project to help Mason as much as I can to accumulate funds put aside for college one day.  I am naming it "The Mason Jar" Project.  I will begin on my blog to offer some of my crafts for sale, and the funds will go directly into "the Mason Jar".  I feel compelled to DO something to benefit him more than just being his "mimi" with fun and games.  I feel a need to start saving for him, and that's next to impossible with us both being unemployed for the first time in our lives.  But I AM creative, so I will get creative.  My mind and hands are busy 24/7, so I should put that to use for him.

Never fear, I will still give away my digi-scrap freebies too!  That's too much fun for all of us!  I will work out some kind of system for us, but I will interlace with items I offer for sale also.  I vow to always keep my offerings super affordable, for I know there are many in the same boat I'm in right now.  But if I live for 20-30 more years, maybe something from this project will add up over time so I can help him get an education.  I feel that his life is at too much of a disadvantage now with the loss of his mother, the loss of that relationship, and the loss of her potential income.  I feel that she would want me to be creative to help him in some way.  I will feel better about me if I do this, so I hope you will give me occasional support in this.

I've done a little studying up on Paypal's services since I have a store on eBay and use Paypal for everything online myself.  I will simply insert a Paypal button under items for sale, and you will be able to use it even if you do not have a Paypal account yourself.  You can use any credit card, debit card, or eCheck to make a payment.  Paypal simply handles the transaction for us both, and I trust them.  I have used it for years safely and securely.  Within 24 hrs. of your payment, I will email you a link to download your digital product.  Other nondigital items purchased will be shipped to you within 3 business days.

I will learn how to do this and begin my project very soon.  I'd like to post my first "Mason Jar" project on his birthday this coming Monday.  Let's watch and see if "Mimi" can meet her own mental deadline on this!

Thanks for reading if you made it this far!  Now here is your FREEBIE reward for that:

It's another of my favorite things to design, a photo mat (or clipping mask), this time with the word "WINTER".  Hope you can find a million ways to use it in your scrapping!  Please leave me some love, and treat others like you would want to be treated yourself. 


Thanks for tuning in again!  Hopefully, I'll be back Monday with another post, so stop back by!  Have a great weekend, and stay safe and warm.



Anonymous said...

Thank you! Your blog post will be advertised on the CraftCrave DigiFree search engine today (look for timestamp: [23 Jan 02:42pm GMT]).

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this Freebie. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 2 post on Jan. 23, 2010. Thanks again.

Lea said...

What a great lesson of life.
Best of luck for the Mason jar.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the freebie! You brought tears to my eyes, it is always hard to watch our children suffer and when they are so young we all want the best for them. I look forward to the items for "The Mason Jar".


crlin said...

Thank you so much for this freebie! My prayers are with you and your Mason Jar - what a wonderful idea!! Can't wait to see what is in it! Hugs and thanks for sharing your story!

Kathi B said...

Thank you! This freebie has been posted at All Things Digital Scrapbooking.

Sky said...

Thank you so much for the lovely winter clipping mask. Living in Minnesota I have plenty of winter photos to use this with.

Kim Owens said...

What a beautiful story and lesson that we all can learn from! You made me cry my eyes out! Mason sounds like a very special young man and he is so lucky to have a "mimi" like you! Have you shared your story on the MBH forums? If not, I think you should!
Xoxoxo, Kim - a.k.a Aussie Bear Scraps