Wednesday, December 15, 2010

National Candle Lighting 2010

My daughter Mckenna Jodell was born on December 27th, 2007 and so full of life. Her presence would light up the room she was in, so happy and always smiling loving to explore the world around her, I would love to hear the sounds she made because each new sound put a joyful look on her face. She was a very vocal baby and had lots to say, she loved to listen to way it sounded when she would bang a toy on the ground especially the dog bowl also liking to taste it too, I loved listening to her light breaths as she slept, the way she would put her thumb in her mouth right after a bite of food making a huge mess all over her face, the look on her face in the mornings when I would go get her from her crib, her Mckenna lovin that would melt my heart. Her curious spirit taking everything in, the way she loved water and would splash and spin in a circle in the tub, she loved her bath time, she made my life full and complete. On Sept 27th, 2008 my world turned gray and broke my heart into a billion pieces. I remember that day like it was yesterday. While I was reaching behind a television to pull the cords out of the wall I turned it too far and it started to fall and tried to push it back into the  entertainment center but it was too heavy and I let it go thinking oh who cares it’s just a tv. I then looked down and saw her feet sticking out from under the tv. As I pulled her out from the tv she was lifeless and like a ragdoll in my arms. I knew in that moment that she wouldn’t ever be the same if she did survive. She was air lifted to phx children’s and I got the chance to hold her while her heart was still beating. I sang to her and talked to her told her how much I loved her and how much I was going to miss her, told her to come to me in my dreams. She fought for 6 hours but the trauma to her head was too much and she passed away in my arms at 2:56 in the afternoon. There are just no words to describe those last moments I had with my daughter. I didn’t have the strength to pick her up again the last moment I had with her so I just laid my head on her and put her hand in my hand and talked to her I told her over and over how sorry I was, how sorry I was that I didn’t protect her and that I loved her so very much. Those were my last moments with her, the very last time I ever touched her skin or kissed her face or felt her in my arms. I didn’t know how I was going to live the rest of my life without her.

When I heard that the theme this year was “permission granted” it got me thinking. This has been one of my struggles on this journey. I don’t give myself permission to cry, feel sad, feel the pain when it comes I push it aside most of the time. As time goes on I am learning to truly feel what I am feeling when I am feeling it and it is not an easy thing to do. I found a quote that struck me a couple weeks ago, “we must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” Kenji Miyazawa. This is hard for me to do and has not been easy for me to embrace the pain.  It is not easy for me to sit in my room alone feeling that gut wrenching pain in my chest and that yearning that consumes my whole body rocking myself back and forth clinging to my daughters pajama’s contemplating taking another breath because the pain is just too much to bare. It is an indescribable pain deep in my soul. But one thing I am learning is that it is in those moments that help build my muscles to carry the grief and to let those moments come when they come. If I don’t give myself permission to feel what I feel when I feel it I am missing out on life. It is learning to incorporate my pain and sorrow into my joy and happiness. If I don’t allow the pain to come in when it comes I am losing a part of Mckenna because her life good and bad are all a part of her and she is worth feeling the pain. The reason I feel that unbearable pain is because I loved her so much. It is my love for her that helps me get through each day. It is my love for her that helps me tell her story and talk about her. I am giving myself permission to feel whatever I feel and the pain when I tell Mckenna’s story because her life is worth every ache, her life is worth every single tear I shed. Joanne Cacciatore said that “There is incredible power in ones testimony, every time you share your story with another gentle soul, you help yourself remember and heal”. In my remembering her and telling her story I might save another child’s life and make parents cherish their children a little bit more. As Christmas and her 3rd birthday is approaching I am finding that it is harder and harder to talk about Mckenna because I can feel her absence all around me. But I am making an effort to talk about her because she would want me to be happy and remember all the good times and not focus on all the things I am missing (though easier said than done). I want to make Mckenna proud, have her live through me because if I don’t speak her name it is as if she never existed. But she did exist and changed my life the moment I knew I was going to be a mommy. Her name is Mckenna Jodell Fox and she was 9 months old and the sparkle in my eyes. While writing this so many emotions came to the surface and I could feel my heart swell with such love and what it felt like to be her mommy here on earth. I could feel her presence as I was thinking about her and remember everything I could. She might have only been here for 9 months, but in those 9 months she taught me more than the 24 years I had been on this earth and even 2 years later she is still teaching me each and every day. She is missed so very much and loved more and more each day. Though it is hard to feel like a mommy when my one and only child is in Heaven I am also learning that I am still a mommy and proud to call her my daughter.

My Mommy is a Survivor

My mommy is a survivor, or so I heard it said.
But I can hear her crying at night when all the others are in bed.

I watch her lay awake at night and go to hold her hand.
She doesn't know I'm with her to help her understand.

But like the sands on the beach that never wash away...
I watch over my surviving mommy who thinks of me each and everyday.

She wears a smile for others...a smile of disguise.
But through Heaven's door, I do see tears flowing from her eyes.

My mommy tries to cope with death to keep my memory alive.
But anyone who knows her, knows it's her way to survive.

As I watch over my surviving mommy through Heaven's open door...
I try to tell her that the angels protect me forever more.

I know that doesn't help her, or ease the burden she bears.
So, if you have a chance, go visit her and show her that you care.

For no matter what she says or feels,
My mommy has a broken heart that time won't ever heal

Kaye Des'Ormeaux

1 comment:

  1. What a deep and heartfelt post! There is incredible power to your testimony of love.
    It's so moving to hear of your desire to keep your baby's memory alive and use her story to help save others and remind others to cherish their children. Be strong, Ashley, and continue to inspire others through Mckenna's story!