I think I have changed in several different ways -- possibly sounding selfish or a little different from what others have said. Also, the way that I have described my feelings may be a bit awkward, sometimes the right words, phrases, sentences never seem to come.
I used to work at one of the three biggest law firms in Indiana and I realized that family did not seem important to the other attorneys, or not to the extent that it was to me even then; after losing Allison, I realized that I could never, ever be in that world again -- family is everything in this world. I have greater understanding and sympathy for people who lose someone so incredibly dear to them. However, I am even more upset at people who mistreat/disrespect family (there are a few people like that in my extended family -- needless to say my feelings about them and how they treat my grandmother have only intensified).
After losing Allison, I reflected on my life and made some changes -- I went back to doing things that I enjoyed because I realized that I had been trying to keep everyone else happy. I needed to do what I wanted and not what everyone else expected. I left the Catholic Church and am now attending the church where my husband went when he grew up and where my in-laws currently attend. I guess losing Allison made me feel the pain and anger of the sex abuse victims even more -- I guess you could say since I see children as gifts and blessings even more so that I did before, whenever anyone systematically mistreats and enables mistreatment of children, I feel that they should pay dearly and that I can not support such people.
My fears have intensified. I fear losing the child that I am now carrying, sometimes to the extent of being overwhelmed. Some worries have intensified (mostly associated with this pregnany) while others have abated.
I guess the best way to describe how I changed is my feelings for family have greatly intensified, feelings for others and their pain have intensified, feeling the need to return to myself, and the intensity of fears have increased. I hope that these changes make me a better person in some shape, way, or form -- I think that is what Allison would want.
Allison Jean (born 5/23/2003), our beautiful angel who showed a spirit and strength that belied her small size and short time on earth
New Little One -- due January 3, 2005 but will be here in 2004 -- keep thinking of us