Friday, August 31, 2012

17 day diet starting tomorrow...again!

Get you grocery list ready if you are gonna start with me tomorrow. If you don't think you can do it on the 1st than wait till the holiday weekend is over. I always look at the calender and look for 17 days that I know I can dedicate to this...I tell myself...if I cheat one day...than I have to start the 17 days over again!

Go here for my past posts about it!

Have fun and let me know if you need help! 


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Keeping my head in the game

Thanks for the prayers everyone...I can feel them!

Here is a mental recap of what has been going on:

When I look back at our year I can't help but think God is using this for a greater good. After trying to get pregnant for about 2 years I came to the realization that I was moving to a different stage in my life. It was  super hard  to accept that I just might not have another I prayed and tried to move on. I started making appointments that women do when you start to go through menopause...getting my veins fixed, mammogram, and other doctor visits. It was then that a sonographer informed me that I was 6 and 1/2 weeks pregnant!!! Wow, what a treat...but there were some concerns with my progesterone and other we prayed...I found out that "HOPE" didn't have a heart beat right before Thanksgiving. So January I got back to exercising and eating right. Then we got a surprise phone call in April asking if we would take a 2 1/2 month old baby for about six months to help out a mom in need. So we did, what a miracle to our family; and then we decided that this was a new ministry to help out moms and maybe this what God was calling us to. Well...a couple of weeks went by and I found out I was pregnant with Steven...this time my blood work looked great, my progesterone was wonderful, the sonograms were perfect...and then my water broke out of no where...after 2 weeks of bedrest Steven died around 20 weeks. So now I am not just mourning Steven, but my fertility.

I have had a good laugh lately...when I was young and first dating my husband...every song I heard on the radio reminded me of, slow, country, rock, name it...they brought me to thoughts of him...

Lately, every song I hear reminds me of what I am going through and how much I miss Steven. Today I had a better work out and this song reminded me how important it is that I stay in the game!



I'm not about to give up
Because I heard you say
There's gonna be brighter days
There's gonna be brighter days
I won't stop, I'll keep my head up
No, I'm not here to stay
There's gonna be brighter days
There's gonna be brighter days mm m

I just might bend but I won't break
As long as I can see your face

When life won't play along
And right keeps going wrong
And I can't seem to find my way
I know where I am found
So I won't let it drag me down
Oh, I'll keep dancing anyway

I'm gonna move (move)
I'm gonna move (move)
I'm gonna move

I've got to hold it steady
Keep my head in the game
Everything is about to change
Everything is about to change

This hurt is getting heavy
But I'm not about to cave
Everything's about to change
There's gonna be brighter days

I just might bend but won't break
As long as I can see your face


No matter what may come
Gotta move to a different drum
No matter what life brings
Gotta move gotta move to a different beat [x2]

I just might bend but won't break
As long as I can see your face

[Chorus x2]

No matter what may come
Gotta move to a different drum
No matter what life brings
Gotta move gotta move to a different beat

***Note to young moms...
embrace your fertility...have lots of babies!!! 
I know it seems hard and like you can barely get through the day...
let God be in control of your fruitfulness
and if your husband is willing...
keep having is such a gift!!!  
Take it from an old 44 year old momma!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Good GRIEF!!!

I have been really having a hard time getting over the loss of our isn't like me to be so sullen all the time. I try to shake it off. I have so very much to be thankful for and I have a wonderful husband and children who really need me to take care of them.

I went to the gym everyday last week and I started eating so much healthier. By Friday morning when I was at the gym I just about lost it. I was having a slow workout and I just couldn't stop thinking, "Why am I here? What am I doing? Just last month I couldn't stop smiling, I was so excited that my pregnancy was going so great! I ate everything all the time, I slept in, I took naps everyday, I went to bed I get up at 4:45am to workout and am only eating healthy food...and I can't even make myself smile!"

Then came a busy weekend as I took my daughter and her friends it is Monday again...this time I started my morning off with going to Adoration. I just sat in the chapel and cried. I am so glad that during this grief I can turn to my Lord and my husband...both who have been very patient with me! I got in the car to go home and thought...let me put on the christian radio station...that usually encourages me and makes me when I did, one of my favorite songs came on that really fit my situation perfect!


Newsboys Blessed Be Your Name Lyrics

Blessed be Your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
But my heart will choose to say
You give and take away
You give and take away
But my heart will choose to say

Blessed it be your of the lord
Blessed it be your name
Bless it be your name of the lord
Bless it be your glorious name

Blessed it be your name of the lord
Blessed it be your name
Blessed it be your name of the lord
Blessed it be your glorious name

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

17 DAY I go again...

Look I go again...besides mentally grieving over our baby Steven, I have been physically uncomfortable. It is one thing being overweight and still wearing maternity clothes when you are holding and nursing a newborn...but when you don't have one to show off and you have on maternity clothes and kindhearted people ask you when you baby is due...well, it is time for a change!

I have posted lots about the 17 day diet you can find all the links on my blog as well as Google away!!! There is even a group on Facebook. 

I am starting on Sept if you want to join in...I will be posting for the first 17 days on my blog...than you can get an idea and decide if you want to stop or keep going after the first 17 days.

Some general guidelines for the first 17 days called ACCELERATE CYCLE:

1. One 8oz cup of hot lemon water (squeeze half a fresh lemon in cup)
2. 3 cups of green tea a day
3. All the fresh fruits and veggies you want (minus a few) and no fruit after 2pm
4. 2 sugar free pro-biotic foods a day
(like Chobani fruit greek yogurt and Breakstone's Live Active cottage cheese)
5. Eight 8oz cups of water per day
6. At least 17 minutes of exercise a day
7. Right now the only meat I can eat is fish (I eat tuna & tilapia), turkey breast & ground turkey (lots of turkey tacos and turkey burgers), and chicken breasts.
8. The only "fat" I can use is olive oil and cooking spray

If you want to get ready for Sept is a Grocery List:
The book
Lots of fresh fruit (no watermelon, pineapple, green grapes, or bananas)
Tons of fresh veggies (no potatoes)
Green tea (decaff or caff)
Ground turkey
Turkey burgers
Chicken breasts
Olive oil
Salad dressing with no sugar (vinaigrette)

If you want to see some old posts Look here:
I have a long way to go to where I was last March ...I wouldn't give up my time being pregnant with Steven, it was so wonderful.

I have actually exercised for four days in a row...When I went to the gym on Monday morning at 5 am the guys who used to welcome me told me that it was 121 days since I had been there...(May 1st) They said you must of had a busy summer...if they only knew!

Now I have to get up the nerve to go to the Ob today for my follow up and not break down in tears...I am sure I will be sitting in a room full of beautiful pregnant mommas! Mourning the loss of Steven has been the hardest thing I have ever experienced, but morning my fertility is even harder.

Last year I decided that God had other plans for us since I hadn't gotten pregnant and I was entering pre menopause. Since then, I have lost two babies. Baby Hope around 8 weeks in November 2011 and Steven at 5 months on Aug 1, 2012.

Being 44, I am not sure what God has in store for me. I would love to have another baby...(Did I say that out loud?) not sure I can mentally go through losing one again...but I am praying THY WILL BE DONE all the time.

Please keep praying for me!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

18 and Wonderful!!!

My sweet baby girl is 18!!! 
I can't believe it...what a joy you are and our "Little Sunshine"...
Stay close to Jesus and he will guide you through anything! 
We are so proud of you and 
know God has great plans for you!

  Valedictorian for high school
 At your sisters wedding
Your bosses...what a job...SUPER NANNY!!!


Sidewalk Prophets - Words I Would Say with lyrics

EVERY parent wants to say this to their kids...especially all of you starting school today...and away at college...we love you...but more importantly...GOD LOVES YOU!!! Be good and trust in the Lord!


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Trying to heal my broken heart:

As I try to heal from our loss of Steven 
God continues to hold me in the palm of HIS hands...
He puts many cute faces in my path daily 
to remind me the importance of continue my work of being the best christian, 
wife, and mother I can be...
so I press on and wipe the tears from my eyes 
only to find a sweet child in front of me looking for the love of a mommy! 
Thank you Jesus for my husband, kids, 
and a huge community of people who pray 
and help us in many ways!
It was my son's fifth birthday 
and all my kids were home for a family dinner...
so of course we pulled out the camera 
to catch them all before some of them head off to college and life...
we had to catch my son in love after work...
but we still got him! 
Nothing like a Christmas picture 
when the kids are all tan!!!

My son in love...surrounded by my beautiful daughters...
My oldest and her hubby!

Thank you Lord again for a great day...
a wonderful husband...and super kids...
please help me to continue to heal in soul 
and body help me grow closer to you each day 
and be a better wife and mother to my family!

Now if I could just get out of these maternity clothes!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Birthday 5 year old!

 oh for the days when you took a nap...

 third birthday
 first birthday
 11th child...11 lbs!!! Cece with you at six hours old!
 you with long hair...before they all left...
 you with short hair...when I had you all to myself...
your baptism

You keep us smiling and laughing all the time...your big brothers teach you all kinds of stuff that mom doesn't approve are our TANK boy...we love you so proud that you are going into kindergarten...stay close to Jesus always and HE will take care of you!!!


Monday, August 13, 2012

What a year we have had:

One of my close friends was checking up on me the other day and said, "Wow, you have had quite a year!"

I just stopped and pondered! Yep a year ago on Aug 13th my oldest daughter got married! We spent eight months planning (Well she did pretty much all of it!) and getting so excited for this wonderful event. It was just that, perfect and such a joyous celebration! We are so proud of her and her husband for budgeting and planning on a great wedding as well as buying a foreclosure and being so financially mature and responsible!

So August was wedding time...

September was school & sports starting...and a vacation...after spending about a year hoping and trying to get pregnant my hubby and I figured we were getting old and going into menopause.

October I got to run a 6K for vocations and I made lots of doctors appointments for vein surgery and infertility/pre menopause appointments! I know...mother of 12 checking on infertility??? When I was getting a sonogram the sonographer asked me why I was there...I explained we had been trying to get pregnant for over a year and the doctor wanted to check on my fertility...well, she said, "You are 6 1/2 weeks pregnant!" We were shocked, excited, and very scared due to lots of spotting, tests, and concerns like low progesterone and a weak heart we asked everyone to PRAY!

November: We found out four weeks later that our "Baby HOPE" didn't make was a huge crush to us all, especially the kids because mommy has always been good at the baby thing. I had had a miscarriage at 7 weeks 20 years earlier with two little babies who really didn't understand that mommy had a baby anyway...

December: I was still trying to pass the baby and had an abnormal time actually miscarrying.

January: Healing and trying to accept God's will in our lives. Happy to  have a house full of babies and grateful to God for giving me a wonderful supportive husband.

February and March: losing the 10lbs I gained from my short pregnancy so back to exercising and eating healthy!

April: lots of birthday parties and we got a surprise call on Holy Week asking if we would take in a foster baby...duh! of course we would! This was a huge surprise since we weren't even on a list to do this type of thing. So we got a precious 2 1/2 month old and we were on cloud nine! Maybe this would be a new ministry for our family-helping mom's out in need! I turn 44!!! (The same age my mom was when they got me as a foster baby!)

May: found out I was pregnant! Yahoo....lots of doctors appointments to confirm that my baby and me were both very healthy! Thanks be to God!

June and July: was totally enjoying being pregnant and loved hearing my babies strong healthy heartbeat...specialist even said I could have V Back and I was switching doctors to go to a MID WIFE who would deliver at the hospital.

July 16th: water hospital and on bed rest for 2 weeks
July 31st: found out that Steven didn't have a heart beat
Aug 1st: delivered Steven
Aug 3rd: buried Steven

August 13th again...trying to get on with life and be the best child of God, wife, and mother I can be!

THANK You Lord for a year full of joy and sorrow. You are my Savior and best friend and I trust in YOU!



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Most Organized Home in America - HGTV Clean Freaks & Professional Organi...

Found this on Holy Experience
Hopefully you will find some good ideas!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Maybe this is why God created him:

I have decided that Steven wants to change hearts and let the world know how special he really is. Maybe from our story or his pictures...he already reminds me of St Therese of the little flower...her little life touched so many and she is still the patron of missionaries around the world! Feel free to share our story and pictures...maybe a mom in crisis will find strength or a mom who doesn't realize just how precious her unborn baby is will choose life! 
Who knows...maybe this is why God created him...
this could be the MIRACLE we all were praying for!!!
Here and here are some past posts about our story. 


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dear Stay-At-Home Mom…

Best gift my husband has given me...

Thanks honey for intrusting our children and their education to me!



Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mercy Me - Homesick FOR MY STEVEN THOMAS:

The tears won't stop falling...good tears! IT made me realize that I don't think I have ever been so excited and grateful for a pregnancy than with Steven...I guess it happens when you are aging out of a sport!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Labor and delivery:

Getting to hold my sweet baby about 2 hours after I delivered him. He was so perfect!

For all my family and friends who have been praying and calling, I am so sorry I haven’t been able to talk or return your calls, so I started writing and writing what exactly happened. For those that don’t really know me…I am a very talkative and detailed person; much to the dismay of all my school teachers! 

This journal started to be a insert for Steven’s baby book until I realized that I had over 5,000 words. I tried conducing it to just the labor and delivery to answer so many questions people have asked me. Feel free to delete or pass on to all those who have been praying for our MIRACLE! We believe all of the prayers and support we received was part of our MIRACLE.

On week two of bed rest, July 31st., I was visiting with my friend Lilly that I have known for 40 years who has been coming every couple of days to visit. When she started to leave, my sister Betsy came to do her daily pampering of me, and then I went to use the bathroom.  When I got there I realized that I was bleeding heavy and just passed a clot. I asked the kids to get their aunt right away. My husband was out of the house so my 18 year old daughter got stuck taking me to the doctor’s office. When I got to the office it was packed, I explained to the nurse that I was told to come in due to an emergency, and was there a place I could lay flat since I was on bed rest. The poor secretary looked at the full office and sadly said, “No, I am so sorry.” I explained that I would lie down in the hall and wait. Luckily there was a bench in the hall and I laid flat on it and waited and waited and waited. Finally after 35 minutes my husband came and my daughter got to go home with the other kids. Since I was still drinking water constantly had to use the bathroom so my husband and I went into the office and they said they just had a room open. I went to the bathroom and was checked by my favorite PA. The poor PA, she tried and tried to hear a heartbeat and kept making excuses that the doppler was old and probably had a bad battery. So, to play it safe, she sent us to the specialist. 

After waiting a bit we were finally admitted to the room where the sonographer prepped me and started to check the baby…I promptly said, “Could you just check to see if the heart is beating?” But no, it was not. The specialists walked in; sadden by the news he had to share. I looked at him and said, “Poor Dr., the PA was just too chicken to give us the news and made you be the bad guy!”After he joked about having a couple of beers, he explained us that we could go right to the hospital or go home and go to the hospital the next day. Being that the hospital was only five minutes away, we decided to get things over with.

Once in the hospital we quietly slipped in and got admitted. Of course I kind of hid in the corner crying even though many sweet staff kept trying to comfort and inquire on my well being. Then we were ushered into a hospital room. After a couple hours the nurse started the medication to induce labor. I was so nervous; I always have long hard labors and I had never had an induction or used drugs during a delivery except for my c section.

I kept texting my old nurse midwife with questions about what to do and what drugs would be best. She reassured me that since the baby had already died that the medication wouldn’t affect the baby so not to worry. Just to do what is best for my comfort. Thoughts of offering up all the pain of delivery for the unborn came to mind. It was always easier for me to do in the past when I was sure my baby would soon be in alive in my arms.

We later tried to go to sleep. Around one in the morning I woke up feeling a little discomfort. I tossed and turned for an hour than the nurse came in and suggested some stadol to help me sleep. Around four AM I told the nurse that the medication was either wearing off or the contractions were getting worse. At 4:40AM I felt the need to go to the bathroom and got up and dragged my IV and once I got into the bathroom I realized was bleeding heavy. I then felt a gentle sensation and caught my precious baby Steven Thomas in my hands on Aug. 1st, feast of St. Alphonsus Liguori. It was a beautiful experience and way more special than I ever expected. Thank you Jesus! I called my husband and nurse came right away and they helped me to bed where I had the opportunity to hold Steven all morning. Thank God my sister remembered to hand my daughter the holy water before we left for the doctors, because I looked at my husband and said, “We forgot the holy water!” He just put his hand in his pocket and handed it to me. So the two of us baptized STEVEN THOMAS, and thanked God for our time together.

One of our nurses, Sarah, had such a gentle touch and gift for attention to detail with our little baby. When we were ready she took Steven and next to my bed, she cleaned and wrapped him up like he was hers. She stuck a little hat on him and gave him a photo shoot that any movie star would have been proud of! She took all sorts of pictures of him with his blanket, a stuffed lion, a butterfly, a special bracelet, and him with his hands folded. It was so beautiful. He was about 1/2 lb and eight inches long. I have been prolife all my life...I was of course I was! I worked in a pregnancy center, attended marches, pro life talks, and have been know, on occasion to get arrested for protesting in front of clinics! Never have I felt more prolife than when I held my perfect baby in my arms.

He had perfect arms, ears, lips, tongue, nostrils, toes, legs, tiny fingernails that needed to be cut, and the cutest little umbilical cord you could ever imagine.  Sarah gave my husband and I our hospital bracelets with baby boy, and time and date written on it, she said, "Here you two, you are his parents; so you need a bracelet too!" This would be added to the memory book they gave us to bring home.

Unfortunately due to Steven being so small the umbilical cord detached from the placenta. The doctor let me rest for an hour before trying to deliver the placenta. Even after an hour it was still hard to get the entire placenta out. So they sent me to the dreaded operating room,  it was like a horror film I had always feared. The walls were white; doctors and nurses ran around grabbing medical tools and supplies, giving medication to me to make me more comfortable. All I remember is a doctor putting tubes in my nose and I started crying, asking for my husband.  It was probably one of the worst situations I had ever been in. So the unborn got lots of prayers anyway!

When I was back in my room I had complete chills and couldn’t stop shivering. They wrapped me in warm blankets, socks, and some sleeping bag thing that had a hose that blew in hot air. My poor husband kept making me hot chocolate and holding the Steven at the same time. Then I started to feel tired, queasy, and sick. I didn’t want to fall asleep because I was sure I wouldn’t wake up.  I told my husband that I thought I was going to die, just what any man with 12 kids, sitting there holding his  precious baby, trying to mourn his life, wants to hear. Thoughts of my friend Dave, who had been going through chemo and felt so sick after each bought, kept coming to mind, and I prayed and prayed for him. I kept looking at the clock thinking that there was no way I would be going home today to see my other babies. My husband assured me it was all the medication coming out of my system and I would be fine.  After a quick rest and lots of ginger ale I started to snap out of it.

As soon as I got my act together I asked for the doctor so I could go home. I got my release and got dressed held on to Steven and was ready to go. In came the very sweet social worker who asked questions and shared her condolences. Then she looked me in the eye and said, “It says here you want to take the baby home with you, unfortunately it is against hospital policy.”  Well I almost jumped out of the bed! I explained that I had informed everyone 24 hours ago and when I was there 2 weeks ago that I was taking my baby home. I had done what they asked and got a casket and contacted the funeral home. Now as I was walking out the door they say I can’t take him home?! As calmly as I could I said that I had talked to a nurse and a priest and both said it is the parent’s rights to take their baby, and I would call my lawyer if necessary. The poor social worker almost fell over.

So after waiting for her to return for about 45 minutes I was getting more upset and wanted to go home to see my other babies. I finally contacted the funeral home near our house and explained the situation. The super, wonderful man said he would send someone over in an hour. I asked the nurse to come in and she and the nurse supervisor came in and I tried to calmly explain my frustration. It went a little like this, “I realize you have policies, but I told the staff that I was taking my baby home and everyone just smiled at me. Since I am trying to compromise and I really want to go home with my other children, I have contacted the funeral home and they are coming now to get Steven.  Hopefully you will learn from this and help other families who desire to do the same.”

The nurses were so great and understanding and apologetic. They made a heroic attempt to wheel me quietly out to the hall, down the staff hallway, in the staff elevator as I was holding my tiny infant wrapped in his blanket, so I wouldn’t need to see anyone or they see me. It was the saddest little procession with all the nurses at the station gently bowing their heads and smiling at me, I am sure they were all part of the instant meeting with the social worker about the mom in room 215 who was half nuts and wanted to bring her baby home. Then they gently wheeled me to meet the funeral staff who carefully opened the car for me to gently place my little precious baby in a small box with a cute little blue pillow and blanket. The nurses hugged me goodbye and said how sorry they were for our loss, of course I was now in tears, thanked them for all their help and said goodbye.

We headed home to a house full of wonderful children who hugged and loved each other all night. My husband and I were so grateful to God for the many blessings and graces that surrounded us, but couldn’t figure out how to shake this sorrow. We were trying to console each other in the dark of the night and we knew that somehow we would get through this. We discussed how excited we were and how much we wanted this precious baby. We decided together we were a great team and with our strong faith we would find a way.

On August 3, 2012 we packed up the15 passenger van and headed to the chapel to bury our precious baby. The sun was beating down and we marched over to the red velvet chairs set up on the green carpet to send off our baby Steven Thomas. The little gifts that the kids carried went next to the beautiful metal box that held their precious brother. Monsignor put in a St Anthony medal and a small rosary that he found and the prayers were said. My sister shared a pleasant reading that was just perfect. Everyone placed a beautiful white rose on the casket and the kids watched in amazement as the hole was unveiled. The casket was placed in the hole and the little boys threw down their gifts in the hole like they were pitching for the Orioles!

We quietly walked away and went to visit my mom, dad, sister, and our baby HOPE who died when I was 8 weeks pregnant, who are also, buried on the perfect Chapel Hill. Then we packed up the van and headed home to try to live on. We all try to walk around and get on with life especially my husband and I who pretend to be moving on.  Although deep in our hearts is a hole that only Christ can fill with his love and compassion. 

We miss you Steven Thomas please pray for us!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

My God is my Rock!

Thank you to my savior for sticking to HIS promise!

10 No disaster can overtake you, no plague come near your tent;
11 he has given his angels orders about you to guard you wherever you go.
12 They will carry you in their arms in case you trip over a stone.
13 You will walk upon wild beast and adder, you will trample young lions and snakes.
14 'Since he clings to me I rescue him, I raise him high, since he acknowledges my name.
15 He calls to me and I answer him: in distress I am at his side, I rescue him and bring him honor.
16 I shall satisfy him with long life, and grant him to see my salvation.'
found that above cool quote here

Friday, August 3, 2012

Please whisper a little prayer for us this morning:

We are having a private burial this morning for our precious Steven Thomas at the angel cemetery at our parish chapel this morning at 10:30 AM. Any prayers would be appreciated.

I have buried my sister at age 39 to cancer and my two parents already, I  have even had two previous early miscarriages. For some reason this is really taking its toll on me.  I don't know if having delivered Steven at 5 months old and getting to hold and cuddle him all day made it so much more emotional for me, but it is gonna be a tough morning for all of us.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Our precious baby:

Dear friends and prayer warriors...Steven is in the Kingdom of God...I went to the hospital yesterday to be induced after seeing that there wasn't a heartbeat during the sonogram. I delivered Steven at 5am...he was just perfect in every way. I just got home from the hospital and am resting. I will post more later. Thank you all for being our MIRACLE...all this support during this time has been amazing...thank you for your prayers.
 A Light to my Path

God is going to take care of us, whether or not we can see down the road. He will not let us walk in darkness and leave us there alone. He will not let us walk to a place and abandon us.

— from Hiking the Camino