Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reflections

As the week continues and each day passes I am struck by how fast time goes. It has now been 2 days since the 27th. All year long I dreaded the month of Sept because it proves that yes another year has past, yes time does still go on, and yes your daughter has really been gone another year. I can feel it in my body as the day approaches as my mood starts to change and my heart seems to ache more and more. I am still in disbelief that it has really been 24 months, 2 days, 11 hours, 45 min since I last held her in my arms. I am trying to recount this past week and I can honestly say I don't remember last week. I feel like I am still in a fog and my days seem to come and go and I don't even remember them. Not sure it this a good thing or not but I am just going with the flow right now because I think that is all I can do.

This year I have to say has been different. The fist year and a half I went around as if nothing ever happened. I pushed my feelings aside because that is what I thought everyone wanted to see, when in reality I was dying inside every breath I took was torture, facing my days became more and more of a struggle. The pain was taking over and I couldn't function I couldn't see past the pain. I couldn't take it anymore so I started to face those feelings 6 months ago and it has been a life changing experience. I have gained some strength to feel the feelings as they come and learning to sit with those emotions. I have to admit it is not an easy task and I still find myself not being able to face it fully but it is a learning process. In the past 6 months I have learned that the more you surround yourself with the people that *get it* the less alone you feel. Being alone in the pain isn't the place to be. I have learned to reach out if I am drowing. Learning to trust myself and trust the one's around me.

 I can honestly say that I do smile and I do laugh and I do feel some joy something I never thought I would ever feel again. Sometimes those emotions still bring that pain in my heart but I have also learned to not let it take over. So much more to learn and I will continue to grow day by day, month by month, year by year.

Monday, September 27, 2010

How can it be?????

Wow how can it be that 2 years ago we lost Mckenna? Looking back on these 2 years I can honestly say it has been a big blur. 2 years ago I would have never thought I would survive without Mckenna, and yet here I am still living and breathing when some days I wish I didn’t have to wake another day without her.  In the beginning I did what I could to just get by I put on a mask to show that I was “ok” when in reality I was dying inside struggling to breathe each breath because it hurt so much to breathe. I had people in my life that would help me along the way when I needed them but over time that put a strain on my relationships so it was easier to just avoid the pain and live life like it never happened. When in reality it DID happen.  I held my daughter while her heart stopped, I buried my child, I lost the love of my life in a matter of seconds. How could I just cover it up like it didn’t happen? One thing I have learned in these past 2 years is that you can’t avoid the pain that comes with losing a child. The emotions that come along with losing your child are so deep and powerful that avoiding them would be a lot easier but it also makes you avoid all aspects of their life. Like the pure joy of seeing her face, remembering the way she sounded, her soft breath as she slept, watching her videos being so curious and happy, remembering the way she felt in my arms, to the pure torture of what life is like without her here, the thoughts that go through my mind that can bring me to my knees, what it feels like to NOT have her in my arms, all of those emotions are a part of her. So avoiding it is avoiding all of her good and bad. She changed my life in ways that I can’t even try to explain. I lived and breathed for her in life and now I must do the same in her death. She was and is the reason I wake up every day. She is the reason I will help parents that are facing this same tremendously exhausting journey. Now 2 years down this road I am still trying to find a balance between the pain and the joy. This is a tricky balance that is hard to bring together because the things that give you joy also bring you pain. No matter what anyone believes I will be living with this for the rest of my life. She may have only been here for 9 months but she changed me as a person and who I thought I was. I miss her everyday and think of her every day. This is a growing process and it takes a lot of time to find your way and what works best for you. There have been new people that have come into my life that *get it* and for that I am forever thankful. These angel mommies that have been placed in my life are my saving grace. They give me strength on the days that I feel I can’t face the pain, they are on this same journey and know what to say or what not to say because they too are facing the same struggles I am facing. As for the old friends and family in my life I am thankful to them as well because they make me feel *normal* sometimes when I am not sure what *normal* is.  So thank you all for being here for me for the past 2 years. Remember Mckenna today and send her some lovin as she will send her Mckenna lovin your way.

Mckenna mommy loves and misses you with all my heart and soul. I am sending you love to heaven above. Hugs and Kisses baby girl you are missed dearly.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My treasured last week

Today I have been reflecting on the last week I had with Mckenna. It seems like I can recall every detail of the last week I had her in  my arms and thought I would share my last week.


My last day with Mckenna


Sat Sept 20th: Billy had Mckenna that weekend but left her with Tammy to come move our stuff into storage. I missed her but thankful to have someone to watch her while we moved MOST of our stuff.

Sun Sept 21st, 2008: I worked that day and couldn't wait to get off work because I was getting Mckenna back. Billy dropped her off at my work I waited with her outside for Mare to get done because we rode together. She was happy to see her mommy.


Mon Sept 22nd, 2008: I had started this class at Pheonix college for my CCT at work so I could draw blood and put in and take out foley's. Mare couldn't watch her that day so my friend Lisa took the day off work to watch her for me. I had to wake up extra early to get ready just in case Mckenna was up earlier than usual. Mckenna was a morning baby so she usually started to stir as I was finishing getting her stuff ready for Lisa. I got her up changed her diaper and fed her, her oatmeal and fruit baby food. So I met Lisa at the safeway parking lot and when I put Mckenna in her car she gave me this face like mom seriously why are you leaving me with this strange person. I hooked her up in the backseat gave her kisses and shut the door. Not giving her enough time for her to cry or for me to cry because I was missing her so much going to school and working. All day long I called Lisa to check on Mckenna just to make sure she was ok and seeing if I was missing anything. After class I had to go to urgent care because I wasn't feeling good and Lisa met me there and brought her back to the room I was in and Mckenn's face lite up and arms stretched out for me the min she saw me. I still had my badge on from school and she just played with it and was just happy to be in my arms but I could tell she was getting sleepy. We got home I fed her dinner, gave her a quick bath, read her a story, gave her a bottle and put her to bed.

Tues Sept 23rd, 2008: Another day of school but this time Mare could watch her so I still got up early enough just in case she woke up before I left for school. I got ready and she still wasn't up which made me disappointed because I wanted to spend time with her before I left. As time went on I thought she would never wake up, but sure enough she did and that made me soooo happy. I got her up changed her diaper and put her in her high chair and started to feed her. I didn't want to leave but Mare pointed out to me that it was time for me to go so Mare finished feeding her, I gave her kisses and left for school. Again I called many times to check on her and she was having fun with Mare and took a really long nap. I drove that day to school so I had the other girls with me and we had to meet Mare because she had an appt so we met her at Burger King for her to give me Mckenna. She must have been tired because when the girls in the back seat looked at her or talked to her she started crying :-( I dropped them off and started to drive away and Mckenna went into hysterics I stopped and took her out of her carseat to try and calm her, I eventually had to put her back while she was crying because I knew she was tired. She cried almost all the way home. Got her home fed her dinner, gave her a bath, read her a story, fed her a bottle and laid her down.

Wed Sept 24rd, 2008: I was so looking forward to this day because I was FINALLY gonna get to spend time with her. We just had a lazy day and hung out at the house all day. She played with her toys and we spent time together playing. One thing she was liking to do is go over to the doggie door in which she could crawl through because it was huge and she would get close to it turn and sit on her butt and look over at me with this smile because she knew she wasn't supposed to be over there. I would go over to her and she would just lift up her arms for me to pick her up. I was a good quiet day filled with the everyday life stuff that I loved to do.

Thurs Sept 25th, 2008: This is the VERY las day I had with her. It started out like a usual day I slept till she started to wake up which was usually around 6 6:30 as she started to wake up I would get up and make her, her breakfast and get things ready for her to eat. I would go get her from her crib and her face would light up when she saw me. I would go change her and then feed her. When she was done we would play for a little while till she got sleep and went down for her morning nap. On this day she slept a really long time I want to say like 2 or 3 hours. I got ready while she was sleeping and waited and waited for her to get up. I was ready for her to get up because I needed to go to the store. She finally got up and I got her dressed and we were out the door. I know we went to Target because I bought her baby food and clothes. I bought her a pair of PJ's that were pink and said all kinds of i love mommy and daddy sayings (that I sleep with every night). We went home and just hung out and played and I took pictures of her. Just had a very everyday afternoon but an afternoon I cherish. She was cranky so fed her her dinner, I gave her a bath and we played a little more and read her a story I gave her a bottle and for the first time in a long time she fell asleep on me. I just let her sleep on me and I remember looking at her thinking about how big she had gotten. I put her to bed and when Mare got home from work I told her " Mckenna fell asleep on me tonight, I need to cherish these moments because they won't last forever" never thinking that would be the last time she ever fell asleep in my arms.

Fri Sept 26th, 2008: I had to work this day and it was Billy's weekend to have her and Tammy was off this day and she watched her on Fridays. I got up super early because I had to meet Tammy at westgate from Wittmann. I was done getting ready around 5:20 and Mckenna was already starting to wake up. Mare got her out of her crib and brought her out to the kitchen and Mckenna's eyes had to adjust to the light so she had this face of confusion. I didn't feed her because didn't have enough time so I changed her diaper and put her in her carseat and said bye to Mare and we were off to meet Tammy. I was there before Tammy so I went in the back seat and took her out and we just sat there playing and cuddling. Tammy finally got there and we talked for a bit then I put Mckenna in her carseat and put her in Tammy's car gave her kisses and told her I loved her. After work I went over to Tammy's to hang out with Billy and them. Mckenna was asleep when I got there I stayed the night at Tammy's.

Sat Sept 27th, 2008: Mckenna woke up around 6-6:30 and Tammy brought her to me. She was confused not sure what was going on but when she saw me she was all smiles. I went to change her diaper thinking it was just a pee diaper and soon realized it wasn't. I had her by her head and feet holding her in front of me asking Tammy where her wipes were. It was a funny sight to see. She didn't want to leave my side every time I would put her down she would cry and cry. I asked everyone to watch her but they couldn't and I couldn't stand to hear her cry and be so upset so I made the decision to take her with me and that decision has changed my life forever. Never in a million years did I think that 8 hours later I would be saying goodbye forever.

 I am sorry this is so long but I wanted to recall that last week with my baby girl. The little girl that changed my life forever, the little girl that will always be a part of me and the little girl that took a piece of me with her.

Missing you more each day pumpkin pie. I love you forever and always. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Barefoot Walkabout

Going into this journey of being mindful and in the moment by hiking barefoot was done with alot of thought. When I first heard about it I was like no way that is crazy but as I thought about it more I thought what a great thing that must be, to just be in the moment. So I decided I would try this adventure with an open mind and it was an experience like no other. Starting out it wasn't so bad yes it hurt a little bit but we soon came to realize was that the ground was EXTREMELY HOT! The trail got more rocky and harder as we went higher. And my feet began to really feel each and every rock and how hot the ground really was. On this trail I was told it was alot like grief. So as we are climbing I am thinking of this( even though your supposed to be in the moment ) and it is so very true. Each step I took had a different feeling sometimes it hurt like hell, then other times it wasn't so bad I could stand the pain, then it would almost bring me to tears. We had hot, rocky, and painful stretches till we saw shade that shade became our saving grace it gave us time to breathe and gain enough strenghth to face the next stretch till the next shady spot. That is a lot like grief you walk along the path and there are times that it burns your feet, it hurts like hell, makes you want to cry and you don't think you can take another step, then comes the shade the shade helps you regain the momentum to continue down the path. We went as far as I could till I said I can't go any further so we sat and talked and took in the scenery. When we started back down this trail my feet were so sore from the journey I couldn't continue I went as far as  my feet allowed me and had to wait till my saving grace rescued me with my shoes. My shoes were the cushion that helped me down the rest of the path when my feet weren't able to carry me barefoot. The shoes are like the support from the people you need in that moment of pain. I am so glad I did the barefoot walk about it gave me a chance to see that I CAN go down this path of grief and hit the hot, rocky, painful parts and continue through the pain till I hit the shady parts and take a moment to breathe and  sit with the pain even though I made need a cushion along the way. I WILL do this again and next time I WILL make it to the top.Thanks Joanne.

Starting something new

I thought I would give blogging a try since I am learning how to express what I am feeling and want to share my life experiences and what those experiences are teaching me. Ladybug Landing is in honor of my daughter Mckenna.