Libby Baker Sweiger

Weaver of Everyday Tales

Archive for the tag “family”

Made For Each Other

Mike and I -- A Dream Come True

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
― Dr. Seuss

I have thought hard over the past years about why I survived all the loss that I had in my twenties. The obvious answer of course is God and His Supernatural love and power in my life. The second was my will to live and continue on and be a part of my own little family again, and then there’s the old, I came from hearty stock argument. I do not dismiss any of these and rather think it was a strong combination of the three factors that pulled me back from sorrow, and depression, kept me from self-pity and bitterness — and helped me rebuild my life on a the rocky foundation of a condition that reared its ugly head 9 months post-partum with my son: bi-polar disorder. That was the hardest battle. When it hit, it hit very hard. I was very sick and it took the best minds and hearts in the psychiatric community in the Twin Cities to put together the plan that saved me. And it took an enormous force of will on my part. Pure fight and will to live and build and have a new life. Get my job back, get a family again, be a whole person again and I really didn’t know or care in what order. The quote above was like an echo for me. I was stripped bare in every way. Lost my nuclear family: my husband and my boy, my job was on hold, my mind was in turmoil and not my friend as it had always been. I was just raw Libby. So I was honest about everything. I put up no fronts, sugar coated nothing. No more cockiness of my youth, my smart mouth had been replaced with bare bones honesty…what you saw was what you got. My best girlfriend and I were remembering this time today together at lunch. She said she felt inadequate to know what to do for me. I said, “You were great! You were there for me. You visited me in the hospital. The cage. How much better does it get?” We laughed together. The first guy she met in the hospital told her he was Jesus Christ. She told me. I said yeah, he told me the same thing too, his name is Michael.” We laughed again. Boy if you can laugh about your life, not just later, but during the nightmarish times, you have been given the greatest gift of all. Which brings me to my other theory: I come from hearty stock. My paternal grandmother was the strongest woman I ever met. And she could find something funny in any situation. She was a survivor. My dad, now that I’m older says I remind him more and more of her and honestly I couldn’t be more complimented!

I don’t have a picture of her, but I’ve got one of dad and I which is almost the same thing, the three of is look alike!

Dad and I


Well my dad saw me making a new life for myself. I had a new job at a different company. I didn’t like the old place when I tried to go back to it. And I was doing some writing at this job. I was happy and fit, jogging, that sort of thing. He said, “Would you like to meet someone?” I said, like a guy? He said yes. and I said sure. So two weeks later he picked me up at work and drove me to his place and introduced me to the man I was made for: Mike Sweiger. Needless to say we hit it off and were married approximately 4-1/2 months later, all the while planning a beautiful wedding. How did things progress so fast? I don’t really know. We were best friends from the start. Fell in love and were engaged within weeks and started to plan the wedding. Mike even asked my Dad to lunch to ask for my hand! In all solemnity, my dear dad said yes, but promise me one thing Mike, make her wait at least 3 years before she gets pregnant again, her body and mind need the rest. And I did! And he was right. Both Dad and Mike. I was married to a dear man, one I could trust to look out for the very best for me. One with a heart who loved God and loved me and loved and would always protect and keep strong our little family. It was the happiest end to a really tough story and all I can say is we were made for each other.

A Mother’s Ring

Davey and I Laughing!

“A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”
― Carl Sandburg

Davey was not my first baby, he was my second. I think about this story often in the fall. My first baby was a girl named Shirley Deborah. Though sometimes people talk about little Davey who lived nearly a year and was a joy to all who knew him, no one ever mentions little Shirley and she is all but forgotten, except to me. She was a lovely dark-haired baby girl like her sister Abby who was born healthy and strong 7 years later. Little Shirley appeared healthy, but was a preemie, only 7 month gestation and she died, unfortunately while I was in labor in October of my 23rd year. They were preparing for a preemie and I’ll never forget when the inconsiderate doctor yelled out when she was born: No need to get ready for a preemie! But the nurses who tended me were angels. Their names: Shirley and Deborah. They told me just what she looked like and encouraged me to hold her and bond with her and mourn her passing. I couldn’t do it. I was so young. I felt she was torn out of me like the infected placenta that had cut off her blood supply and killed her. I didn’t want to bond. I was afraid my heart would break. Now I wish I had. All the memory I have of her is of a tiny casket on a hillside, that is until now and the mother’s ring, but I’m skipping ahead.

The very foolish small town doctor that delivered her so insensitively said we could get pregnant right away again and we did. This time we went full term. Davey was born. At 6 pounds 7 ounces he was no giant, but he looked healthy and we rejoiced. Our joy was short-lived because the next day the pediatrician said he must be moved to Children’s Hospital downtown because he had a bad heart murmur. We stayed in a hotel near the hospital and I stood with him every day and barely cared for myself, hoping and praying him back to health. At two weeks he went into heart failure, we called my now ex-husband from school (seminary) and kept vigil. I tried and prayed so hard to put him in God’s hands during his angiogram. He did not die, he started to improve! We had him for 11 glorious months. He was a precious gift! But our little angel was not made for this world, he had a very complicated heart problem and what we didn’t know….didn’t have a spleen. His first cold killed him. No one’s fault. No one could have known. Our precious Davey was gone. And so it would seem was my ex. Still wounded from the loss of Shirley, he couldn’t bear to look at me, so I was without my little family. But not alone. My own family rallied around. My faith in my Lord gave me strength…eventually I began to live again. And now I have two stones for my ring.

A year after my divorce I met and later married the dearest man on the planet. Three years into the marriage, we got pregnant with my darling Abby girl.

Me, Abby and Mike

She was and is healthy and strong and a treasure for her dad and I. Abigail in Hebrew means her Father’s joy or Initiator, Life Giver of Joy! And she truly is!

Last night I ordered a mother’s ring at my husband’s encouragement. In it are the names and birthstones of your children. No longer will Shirley be my secret and Davey rarely talked about for everyday. I will wear on my right ring finger a gold band with the names: Shirley, Davey and Abby on it and each of their birthstones. Now this mother’s heart won’t be kept in darkness, but live free in the light of day!

I’m Moved to Write A Book!

I feel compelled to write a book. Actually I’ve felt this way since I was five and first learned to read. But this time the drum is beating louder. I hear there’s a program online to write a post a day in October and a Novel in November or — a non-fiction in November if you should so choose. I would like to do it. I would like to write it online with the promise of instant publishing and critiques of every thought and chapter. It sounds wonderful and excruciating all at once. Of course, I could switch the blog to private in November. I don’t really know how to write a novel. Everything I’ve written has been autobiographical. We shall see.

Come along for the ride if you like!

Enjoy!

My Beautuful Daughter and her Pooch

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