ANNIE GRACE SABIN - March 30, 2010 - August 1, 2010

ANNIE GRACE SABIN - March 30, 2010 - August 1, 2010


Monday, October 8, 2012


This weekend, as we listened to General Conference, several messages touched my heart, but none quite like this one:
"Remember, as you attended the funeral of your loved one, the feelings in your heart as you drove away from the cemetery, and looked back to see that solitary casket, wondering if your heart would break?...
"I testify that, because of Him, even our Savior, Jesus Christ, those feelings of sorrow, loneliness and despair will one day be swallowed up in a fullness of joy."
Elder Shayne M. Bowen
In my journey with Annie, I have become acquainted with sorrow, loneliness and even, (during her last few weeks with us) despair.  There are no words to describe how anxious I am to experience the fullness of joy that will one day be mine when I have this angel back in my arms again, and our family is finally and forever together. 
I'll be missing her till then.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Running for Annie

In the weeks after Annie died, Cameron and I started running a bit.  I don't consider myself to be a runner by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought that it might be good therapy for both of us.  Way back then, we talked about the idea of possibly running a 10K and dedicating it to Annie.  One night, after a late run, we sat in the dark on the front lawn and set a goal to someday run from our home, to her grave, and back (approximately 7 miles round trip).  At the time, my longest run was 2.5 miles and to run seven seemed impossible.  Winter came, I stopped running, and those goals faded.

More than a year passed before I again started to seriously consider running for Annie.  I knew that running was not my favorite thing, but I couldn't help but feel that it would be neat to do something hard, something really hard, in honor of my daughter who did unbearably hard things every minute of every day of her life.  I know there is no comparison between running a race and living with and dying from heart defects.  I really know that.  But, it still felt like a good idea, and I couldn't help but think that Annie would be proud of her mom.  I committed to run a 10K.  Then, with some coaxing from friends, I changed my mind and decided to do a half marathon.  13.1 miles.  Unthinkable at the time.  But I set the goal, I paid the entry fee for the race,  I loaded my ipod with every song that reminded me of Annie (as well as plenty that would motivate me to run faster) and I went to work.

I started running again.

I ran 2 miles.  Then 3.  Then 4. 

One early morning, I left my house and about a mile into my run, I decided that this would be the day that I would run to Annie's grave.  Instead of taking my usual route, I changed my course and headed towards the cemetery.  It was a beautiful morning.  I reached the cemetery just as the sun was coming over the mountains.  Realizing that I was finally accomplishing a goal that I had set so long ago, I wiped the tears from my eyes, blew my daughter a kiss and ran home.  From that day on, all my long training runs included passing by Annie's grave and blowing her a kiss.  I didn't look forward to running every day, but some days it was just what I needed.  Often, I could feel Annie close, and the memories of my time with her were part of every single run. 

Race day came early.  3 o'clock in the morning early.  Cameron and I got very little sleep that night, but arrived in time to load the busses along with the thousands of others that would be running the race with us.  The bus drove us up the canyon to the starting line where we waited in the dark for the race to begin.  At 6 am we started running.  My only goal for that day was to run the entire time (no walking) and enjoy it as much as possible.

It was difficult.  There were moments when I really wanted it to be over (especially miles 10 and 11) but, I did it! My race time is nothing to brag about, but I did it.  The best part, hands down, was the final stretch to the finish line.  My whole heart was with Annie and this was a really emotional experience for me.  Something I will never forget.

I don't know if I will run another race, but I'm so glad I ran this one.

Love you, Annie.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Annie's Headstone

Annie's headstone was finally placed last week on the day before Mother's Day.  I was not expecting it until the end of the month and was so happy that they finished it early.  It took us so long to finalize our plans for her bench because I wanted it to be perfect.  Thanks to our neighbor and friend, who helped us to design it, I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.  Thanks to all who made it possible!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Happy Second Annie!

It has been a while since I've posted. Too long. I'm not even sure anyone reads this blog anymore, but I still want to record some of the happenings of our family regarding Annie. It's just nice to have a place where I can put some of my feelings and thoughts down. We celebrated Annie's birthday in March and it was a really sweet occasion. Last year we were out of town on her birthday so we just did a simple celebration with the family members that were with us. This year we were home and able to do more to honor her special day.

Our families joined us at our house where we assembled sibling kits for PCMC (Austin's eagle project). We then watched a video that I made of Annie's life.  We sang Happy Birthday and ate cupcakes and homemade icecream.

To end the evening, we went into the backyard to release balloons. Some wrote messages on their balloons before we sent them to heaven.

Before we let them go, we sang "Families Can Be Together Forever."  Each balloon had a little light in it and watching them float into the night sky was beautiful (the pictures really don't do it justice).

The kids loved it. I loved it. I hope Annie loved it.

Ellie asked me that day as we were picking up balloons and getting ready for the party, "Mom, when you send a balloon to heaven, how do you know that the right baby gets it?"  We had five babies in our ward die in a 2-year period, and I think in Ellie's mind, heaven is filled with babies.  This girl is always thinking and wanted to be sure that her little sister was going to get her birthday balloons that night. It reminded me of a tender moment I had with her a few months after Annie passed away. We had been in a store where they sell balloons. I bought Ellie and Hadley each a balloon and tied them to their wrists. Ellie managed to get hers off her wrist and, as I was buckling Hadley into her carseat, she accidentally let it go. This wasn't the first time Ellie had lost a balloon and, judging from past experiece, I knew that she was going to throw a major fit. I could hear the panic rising in her voice as she watched her new balloon float out of reach and just as I braced myself for her wail, she stopped, and said to herself, "It's o.k. I'm sending my balloon to Annie." I had to swallow the lump in my throat as I hugged her tight and together we watched her balloon disappear from sight. Ellie melted my heart that day. Ellie was only three when Annie died. I did not know how much of an impact it would have on her life. I have overheard her say to her friends, "One day, I went for a walk at the hospital, and when I came back, my sister had died. I was so sad." I have listened to her play "house" and tell others that she was the mom and that her baby had died. Just last week, she said to me, "Mom, why did you take Annie back to the hospital after you brought her home?"  She was thinking that if we hadn't taken her back, she would still be alive and here with us.  Ellie was so young during Annie's life and death, but Ellie is processing and grieving just like the rest of us.  I'm so grateful that I can teach her that "Families Can Be Together Forever" is not just a song we sing.  It's something we believe and she will see her baby sister again.

(Ellie blowing out the candles on Annie's cupcakes...and yes, she is wearing a dress-up outfit!)