Saturday, October 26, 2013

Houston Bound....Fingers Crossed Anyway





Not even really sure where to begin on explaining this new adventure I am going to be embarking on (fingers crossed anyway). After the summer I had I had to dig deep and figure out how I was going to “pull up my boot straps” as my mom would say. How I was going to not let the magnitude of so many overwhelming, scary, sad, terrible things that happen devour my existence. Well when I put it out there that I day dream of attending the University of Houston for my masters in social work, I got a response that I wasn't expecting. I guess that was my push to really research and figure out how to pull it off.

 Would I really be able to attend a college out of state???

Could I really move to a city on my own not knowing anyone???

Can I really do this???

Well I have not felt so drawn to something like this is a long time. That overwhelming force of, “that is where you are meant to go” feeling I get when I push and challenge myself. I figure if I can work in the same hospital that my daughter died, I can challenge myself with achieving this goal I have set out for myself. I have been in the process of getting everything I need to apply to the college and to the social work program. It brings such excitement inside me when I think of this adventure, a fresh start, a new place, a change of scenery and new beginning. The past few years I have experienced such loss, such heartache, such tragedy that I feel that I need out for a little bit. I need this to bring life back into my soul like it has not been in a very long time. I will be pushed out of my comfort zone so much that I will be forced to be vulnerable to make new friends, and put myself out there in order to get my degree and do what my heart tells me I am meant to be doing. If my goal works out I will be moving at the beginning of Aug of next year. I have a trip planned in January with a good friend who will ask questions that I may not think of and be my travel partner to be tourists in the city I may call home next year…..

This is a once in a life time opportunity to be brave and go after what I want and become the person I envision and know I can be. Nothing is holding me here. I will miss my family and friends, but that just means people will have to come visit me. I need this and I want this and I am bound and determined to make it happen.  I have some great supportive people in my life who believe in me and are excited with me. I am also blessed with a daughter and mother who I feel guide me everyday. The love I have for them and the love they have for me is indescribable.

What is this life for if I don't at least try? How can I not try? What do I have to lose?.......  


Houston here I come…..(fingers crossed anyway) J

Friday, October 4, 2013

Grief Isn't Easy.....




Hi my name is Ashley and I am a mother, daughter, sister, niece, cousin, aunt and friend. I am sensitive and get my feelings hurt easily. I am respectful of my elders and to people in general. I am a loyal and honest friend who would drop what I am doing to come help you. I am broken hearted and sad most of the time. I day dream about the future, but question if I will live long enough to experience it. I sometimes don’t feel worthy of love. I often wonder who would love me and why would they love me. I question where I belong in this world. I have friends, but each of us are in different places in our lives that it’s hard to know where I fit into their lives, and theirs into mine.

 I’m a bereaved mom. I try very hard to live this life and become someone and make a life for myself that doesn’t always reflect the fact that I have a dead daughter. I am discovering that, that is impossible. I have a dead daughter and that isn’t going to change. She is my life and how can I have a life that doesn’t reflect her beautiful soul?

I am a motherless and fatherless daughter. Each death was very different and each one knocked the breath out of me. I have tried my best to move forward since my mother’s death, but I am finding it hard to do. I am sad more often than not, and I often get frustrated and judge my own grief because I think, it’s not supposed to hurt this much, I’ve lost a child why does this hurt so much? Though I feel as if I can’t express that. I’ve lost a child and that grief is like no other so how can I express just how much my mother’s death hurts my heart?

I am not the person I once was. Death has changed me and the death of my mother has changed me into a person I’m not sure I recognize.

I am more like my mother, the mother I tried so desperately to not be like. I did not want to be like her, but here I am seeing in me, her.


I am finding my way in this life and I am sad more often than not but I am doing the best I can. Accept me for who I am, all of me or don’t. I miss my mom, I miss my daughter, and I miss me. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Is It Really Possible......5 Years??????






On the night before starting my weekend of Mckenna being with my ex-husband’s family, I held Mckenna as she fell asleep in my arms. I looked down at this beautiful little girl as she took deep sleep breaths; I was in awe of her perfection. How big she was getting and how I needed to treasure that moment in time because it wasn’t going to last forever. Though in that moment I did not realize that the next time she would be in my arms like that would be as her heart stopped beating…….

Two by two family came to say their goodbyes, their broken hearts written on their faces. They gave her one last kiss, one last touch, one last I love you. The last two people leave the room, just Mckenna, Billy and me alone. I look down and see blood on my arm from the pressure monitor, I’m talking to her, Billy comes and tells her how much daddy loves her and kisses her forehead, then suddenly our last moments with Mckenna alive were gone. The Dr came in and told us, “we’ve been watching her heart on the monitor and we think it has stopped, I’m going to listen to check”……..with sad, tear filled eyes the words “she’s gone”  came from her mouth. I was in Disbelief, horror, and shock; my heart shattered into a billion pieces, I looked at Billy’s heartbroken face and just sobbed.  The nurses removed the tubes, and she lay lifeless in my arms. Her broken body did not even look like the little girl I woke up to that morning. What in the hell just happened?????

 In that moment I felt as if I had left my body. I was a shell of a person.  How could my vibrant, observant, quiet, beautiful, precious, funny, vocal, happy, baby girl lay there lifeless in my arms? Not breathing, not moving. It was a moment that is etched into my brain, a memory that can take my breath away in an instant. No mother should ever have to endure such pain, sorrow and agony. I walked out of that hospital a different person.

5 years ago today I held my daughter, kissed her, touched her skin, held her hand, kissed her lips, laid my head on her lifeless body, put her hand in mine and expressed to her how very sorry I was, how much I loved her and said good bye. I miss her every day, I love her more than the universe and I am who I am because of her. She teaches me and I am more than blessed to have been given the chance to be her mother. I may never know why she picked me, but I know that I would not take back those 9 months with her here and the 9 months that I carried her. She is not forgotten and is loved by so many.

I am still a mother and I will continue to mother Mckenna in any way I feel I need to. I will share her life, her death and hope it will only help those around me to hold their children a little bit tighter, it will open their eyes to the dangers of TV’s and take the precautions necessary to protect their children, I hope they will know their gifts and take a moment to enjoy them, to take a step back and slow down to cherish the little things.
Honoring Mckenna’s life is one thing in my life that fills my heart with love. I will always honor her and I continue to learn how to live without her physically here, but I am also learning how to live with her in my heart each and every day.

Mckenna,

                There are truly no words to even try and explain or describe what it is like living without you here. There are no words to even express how very much I miss you and at times it truly is almost too much to bare. There are no words to express how deep my love is for you and just how much you completely change my life. I will never forget this day and how it was the day a piece of my heart was ripped to shreds, only to heal scarred, rigged, uneven and not complete. You are my love forever and always. Sending you so much love and big ginormous hugs and kisses. I love you pumpkin pie. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Summer Full of Challenges and Growth





As I reflect on the summer it is hard to believe that I have survived. It has been overwhelming, sad, emotional, stressful, devastating, and heartbreaking, though it has also been a summer of empowerment, growth and change.

 My summer began with the death of my brother and my BSW graduation. Both of these events happened one week apart. I was filled with such joy as I was about to complete a goal that I had set for myself, I was going to walk across that stage and receive my diploma that I worked so very hard for. Then on April 25th my brother Peter died and shook my world. This was the first death in my family since the death of Mckenna. I was full of so many emotions that I found myself questioning my grief. Why I was feeling such sadness, because after all I have lost a child so why does this hurt so much? It was an eye opening moment that started my summer. It opened my eyes to the living world again; a world that I thought wasn’t possible since the death of Mckenna. I didn’t want to lose any more time with the ones that I love, as tomorrow is never guaranteed. I walked across that stage filled with such joy and accomplishment ready to start the next chapter of my education.

After a short break from school I started my MSW program. I was ready to be done and get this started because there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I would be done with my ultimate goal of becoming a social worker. I started my internship at PCH and was going strong and felt that I was learning so much and growing as a social worker. Then on June 18th I found my mom dead. This shattered my world in a way that I am not even sure I can explain. My fear for months leading up to her death was that I was going to go check on her and find her dead. Each time I would play in my head the worst case scenario to try and prepare for this outcome. What I would do, how I would react, terrible images of her would cross my mind trying to be “prepared”. This is something you cannot prepare for. It is something that is not supposed to happen. The moment I realized she was gone, I went into a state of shock and disbelief. Is this really happening? Is she really dead? Oh my God she’s really dead…..My head was spinning, my body was trembling, my hands were shaking, and my heart was breaking. This could not be happening. I have had my struggles with my mom over the years, and the few months leading up to her death were some of the most challenging. Back in November of last year I made the decision to start to detach myself from her because I could no longer handle the drinking. This was a difficult decision for me because I loved her so deeply. I did not get the chance to fully process this decision as I was feeling the guilt because she would say things like, “please don’t give up on me Ashley.” Just typing those words break my heart. The broken look on her face each time I would see her is haunting me. I did not realize what her death was doing to me mentally, emotionally, and physically. I did not realize how much this was affecting my internship, because I was trying to just push through like I have always done. I did not realize I could not just push through this grief.
Long story short, I did not pass my internship. I will keep most of the details of why private, but this was devastating to me. Everything I had worked so hard for felt as if it was slipping through my fingers. The day I found out I was blindsided and had no idea that I had failed. I cried on and off all day long because I felt so defeated. As I contacted my field liason to find out what happens next, I discovered that this was a big deal. I could very well be kicked out of the program. I had to go up against the standards committee and kind of “defend” myself and explain my side of what happened, explain what I have learned from this and what I will do to help myself. I had some time to reflect from the time I found out to the time of the meeting. I walked into that meeting feeling empowered and ready to face this head on, I left that meeting feeling completely deflated and overwhelmed. My education was in their hands and out of my control. Since the time of the meeting I have decided to take the semester off of school. I need the break to try and fully get on my feet and to have some fun. This was not an easy decision, but I feel like Mckenna and my mom joined forces to get me to slow down because it was time to take some time for me.

In the time I had to reflect I came to realize that I need to deal with everything that has happened this summer, especially my mom’s death. I could not let this life devour my existence like I feel it did to my mom. I realize that I have to really start living, having fun, getting out of my room and be the person I know I can be. This summer has kicked my ass, knocked me down, and brought me to my knees, but in reflecting I have kicked back, gotten back up and stood stronger. I am taking the steps to better myself and become healthier mentally and physically. I have some beautiful souls in my corner and some beautiful friends and without them this summer, I am not sure what I would have done.


Here’s to a better me one step at a time, one day at a time and moment by moment……

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Heart Broken




My heart has been broken into what seems like a million pieces lately and the pain is deep within  my soul that when it surfaces it is almost too much to bare.

I was just 14 when my dad died. When he died I never knew that kind of pain. I was trying to navigate through that pain alone as a 14 year old little girl. Though in doing so I truly grieved my dad. I was 24 when Mckenna died. The pain of losing Mckenna was too much for me to handle, so avoiding became my signature. My "Ashley face" was born and I was able to push the pain down so deep that when just a tiny piece of pain surfaced, it brought me to my knees, unable to breathe, crying for the pain to stop. With the help of loving, gentle souls I was able to stand, breathe and cry for my daughter without it debilitating my existence. I am now 29 years old fatherless, daughterless, and motherless and I am not sure of the person I am.

 I spent years and years searching in others for a mother figure to fill the parts of my mom that she could not be to me only to get hurt more. I never appreciated the person my mom was, the mom she tried to be, the yearning she felt to just have her daughter as I yearned to have my mom. I feel like I have failed her as a daughter, a mom and a friend lately. I feel as if I am a little girl needing my mommy, and a mother needing to mommy. I feel as if I am in this strange place of feeling empty.

 Over the past couple weeks it has hit me with full force the fact that I will be forever and always be motherless. No one can replace my mom, no one can be the mom I need or yearn for. No amount of searching will change the fact that the person who carried me for 9 months, gave birth to me and raised me to best of her ability is no longer here to be my mom. I was the best daughter I could be though it will never feel like enough. So many wishes of better times, more laughter together, more hugs. I know I can't change the past and things are what they are, but that does not diminish the pain I feel deep in my soul.....

My heart is broken. Motherless, daughterless. It is just not the way it is supposed to be........

Monday, July 15, 2013

I'm Sorry Mom.....I Love and Miss You





As I sit in my empty room eating my dinner I think of my mom. All the days she was alone, lonely and sad. I am taken back by the images of finding my mom lifeless in her bed on a daily bases. Many are not aware of the circumstances of her death and out of respect of my mom and my brother I will keep most of the details private. As many know we struggled with my mom’s drinking and over the last several months it has been a real battle. My mother was a beautiful soul deep down in that pain she tried so hard to rid herself of with drinking. I always knew that person deep down and so I would continue to fight to get that person back. All I ever wanted was for her to be the mom I knew she could be, the mom that I knew she was. In the process of going through her things and moving her it was brought to my attention the magnitude of her pain, her struggles, and her demons. It breaks my heart to know just how much my mom suffered because of the evilness of people in her life. No human being should endure the kind of pain that was placed upon her beautiful innocent soul.

All the what if’s, shoulda, coulda, woulda’s that I am left with have been hard to swallow. I struggle with those last days I saw her, the last time I spoke to her having that gut feeling that something wasn't right and doing nothing. There is a lot that people don’t know about those last couple months of her life and many aren't aware of the fact that she suffered a great deal. This kills me and hindsight is always 20/20. I hold onto the fact that the last words we spoke were, I love you. The words I will never get out of my head, the sound of her voice and the tears I felt hanging up with her that very last time.


There are also great memories that flood my head. The times when I would wake up in the mornings even in high school and go sit on her lap till I fully woke up. The times we would laugh so hard we would cry telling a story. The times my nana, my mom and I would lay in bed together and just talk and wait for papa to bring us coffee. There are good times and I just miss my mom. I knew this day would come eventually, just did not expect it to be so soon. Death changes people and her death has affected me is ways I can’t describe. Life just isn't the same without my mom, and my daughter. I am no longer the person I was and never will be.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Part of Me....Part of My Story...

        Dr. Cacciatore has been asking questions on FB about death and today's question really got me thinking. Today’s question was "What emotion- what nuanced part of grief -  has been the most difficult with which to cope?" My response was about shame and me not feeling worthy of unconditional love, joy and happiness because I am responsible for Mcknena’s death. Why do I deserve love when I’m the reason her beautiful soul is no longer here? I now feel I do deserve love, joy and happiness, but it has not been an easy journey getting there. I often hear from others, “it was an accident,” “It’s not your fault,” Many say that they don’t know how I am able to do what I do. They think I am “amazing” for being able to face the challenges I face and do what I do. I often hear, “I can’t imagine,” “I would die if something happened to my child,” “wow, I don’t know how you do it.” I don’t often tell my whole story, I only tell it when I feel the need to, or when I meet someone that I feel so strongly to tell my story to. Not just, a television fell on my daughter part of the story, but details that few really know. Well I would like to share just a part of that story from that day, not because I am amazing, but because it is my reality. It is what I live with everyday, it is what takes my breath away, it is why for so long I didn't feel worthy of love, joy and happiness, why shame controlled my life.

Many know that I moved the television that day, they know I was pulling cords from the back and after reaching behind pulling the cords, the television started to tip and it was too heavy and I thought, oh who cares it’s just a TV and letting it fall not knowing Mckenna was next to me. One thing some may not know is that in that split second before standing up and the tv starting to fall, I saw her there, happily bang this toy I gave her on the ground. In that spilt second as the TV was falling I forgot that she was there. After the TV fell looking down seeing her feet sticking out I was in shock, horrified at the sight and my heart dropped. When pulling Mckenna out she was lifeless, a rag doll. Many may not know that as I was talking to 911 my phone was beeping that it was going to die, many may not know that when the 911 operator told me to calm down because she can hear you, that Mckenna had 2 tears roll down her face. That is my reality, that is why I struggle forgiving myself and why I never really will.

This part of the story haunts me and at times cause such pain in my heart that I feel it will just stop. Some know this part of the story well because those few I share such detail with have walked with me each and every step of the way. I am blessed with beautiful souls that love me unconditionally and allow me to be me and love me despite the fact that I am responsible for Mckenna’s death. They don’t look at me that way, they look at me as a broken hearted mama who’s child tragically died.

 One beautiful soul (aka soul mama) saved me and she has shown me what unconditional love means. Many ask how I do what I do and I owe a lot of that to this beautiful soul. Mckenna is the reason we are in each other’s lives and Mckenna guides her to help me achieve many of the challenges I challenge myself with. I love her dearly and so very blessed to have her in my life. 


It is not easy to openly share such details with so many, but I needed people to know a part of me. My life changed that day and will never be the same.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

15 Years....Dad I Miss You




While driving past New River I always think of my Dad. While going up north and I was thinking of my dad and realized that it will 15 years that he has been gone. That number took my breath away. Each year it seems like I have different emotions when approaching his death day. This year it seems shocking to me that he has been gone 15 years. That just seems impossible. Just saying the number hurts my heart…..How can it really be that long???



Life does seem to just go on when at the time I wished my world would have just stopped. My world was filled with sadness, hurt, anger, confusion. I was a lost 14 year old girl trying to find my way alone. At that time in my life everything was going wrong, a dead dad, an alcoholic mother, a family so far apart from each other it seemed like there was no light, only dark. Life was lonely back then. His death did not bring my family closer together, only drove us more and more apart. I would not go back to that time in my life for anything. Though I believe that I would not be who I am today without that life experience, I would not like to relive it.



I owe a lot to my dad for me helping me be the person I am today. His death, his life, who he was and the person I knew, are all factors in me, who I am. He loved his children, though had a harder time expressing or showing all the time, he loved us. I would love to have him wrap his arms around me and hug me like he did when I was a little girl. Nothing like a daddy hug.   

One of my favorite memories is our very last Christmas together. He gave all of us big, giant candied apples. Mine had M&M’s on it and that was by far the best Christmas gift I ever got from him. It was a reminder that his presence was the gift, him being there to give a special gift to his children (though they don’t remember the candied applesJ). Those moments you can’t get back and once those chances are gone, they are gone forever. Thank you Dad for leaving me with that memory, I will never forget it….


Dad, 15 years ago I said goodbye to you. I hope you are proud of the women I have become and continue to be. I miss you and I love you. Love Ash.



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Death and Love







Death either brings families closer together or drives them apart. On April 25th my family was brought together because of the sudden death of my brother Pete. I have never received a phone call like I did that day. That call threw me through a loop and caused me to reach within myself and to allow myself to feel, cry and grieve with my family. We made arrangements, saw him one last time and said our final good bye at his memorial all together as a family should. I sat with my family as we cried, laughed, and remembered my brother. It was a tragically beautiful thing because Peter was too young to die, though we came together as a family.

 Since Mckenna’s death, and prior to that my family was breaking and growing further and further apart. It felt broken and distant. I felt I was the black sheep of the family, they didn't understand me and my pain, my grief and my suffering. In a lot of ways they still don’t but in a lot of ways I never gave them the chance to witness it. I felt judged and disconnected to the family I so love and longed for. Because of my pain I have missed out on so many memories and moments that I cannot get back. Being a bereaved mom I know just how short life can be, and I came face to face with this reality yet again. I can no longer allow the pain to devour my existence and for it to take away from me more time with those I love. This might not make sense to some, and it has me confused but I am willing to sit with it and see where it takes me.

With that being said, Mckenna will NEVER EVER be FORGOTTEN!!!! Mckenna is STILL my life, my world, my EVERYTHING; but my EVERYTHING includes my joy, my happiness and without that Mckenna will not be able to see and feel the beauty that I feel and see here. Everything I do is for her and Pete’s death has shaken me to the core and has made me realize that I truly can balance both worlds and sometimes feel them all the same time, in the same day, hours or minutes and that is ok. I will allow the sad missing days to come, I will allow the good beautiful days come and (try) to be ok with either or both. I guess this is my grief making yet another transition. This does not mean I love her or miss her any less, it just means I am able to allow joy and happiness to come into my life without judging either (practicing no judgment ). Practicing to embrace the joy with the pain and the pain with the joy and know that it is the love I have for Mckenna that I can live with both.

 I need my family and they need me. I hate that such a tragic death is what brought us so close together, but like I said it can either pull a family apart or bring them closer together and I for one am grateful that we have grown closer.

Peter,
 If you only knew how much you were truly loved. I hope you feel it and see it now. Please give Mckenna lots of hugs and kisses for me. Until we see each other again, I love you and will miss you very much.
Love your little sis,
Ash 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Graduation, Tears and Love





The date is nearing, the moment I have been waiting for, for 2 1/2 years, the picture I have had in my head .....walking across that stage...... Most of my classmates are excited, happy and jumping with joy to graduate, but then there is me....My world has filled with the bittersweetness of this moment. Many will not understand how I am feeling, but that needs to be ok. It is hard to even explain how I am feeling and what graduation means to me. This moment is so much more than a diploma, so much more than a degree, so much more than that piece of paper.....it is my accomplishment of learning to move forward without Mckenna. Learning to live again, relearning to be Ashley (who ever that person is). It is the acknowledgement of how far I have come. I am learning to spread my wings and fly, learning to trust the wind. Trusting that voice that guides me in the direction I am meant to be, to not question where the wind is taking me, to just glide along the way and feel when it is right to land. Doors have been opened, more than I ever expected which assures me that I am in the right direction. Though I know this to be true, it is hard to not feel the bitterness of this moment. In my mind, deep down in my brain I feel I may have secretly been hoping and "praying" that she will be my reward. She will run up to me as I cross that stage, wrap her arms around my neck and say, "you did it mommy, I am so proud of you". Wishful thinking, yes. Logically I know that will not happen, but I can't help but feel it to be true. Oh how I wish it were to be true.

Lots of tears have been shed the past few weeks at just the thought of my graduation and pending MSW program and internship (if you know me you know that the tears are kind of a big deal).Tears of sadness, anger, guilt and just plain missing Mckenna so intensely that I can't hardly stand it kind of tears. I am trusting this journey and trusting that I am where I am meant to be, to become the person I am meant to be. I often ask why....why work at PCH, why do my internship with crisis response, why do my MSW internship with PCH in the ED, why, why why. I do not have the answer to these questions, but all I can do is trust the wind.....

I am overwhelmed by the love and pride those around me are showing and giving. I do not take praise well, I do not let it sink in. It goes in one ear and out the other because in many ways I do not feel that I deserve it. Though one of my beautiful soul friends is helping me to change that negative voice, it is still there very loud and clear. So as the date approaches I am going to try and sit with the words of pride and let them soak in, even if it's just for a moment. This IS a big deal and I DO need to try and accept the love and pride of those around me as it come, because I have earned that piece of paper and have shed plenty of blood, sweat and TEARS to get to this moment. I need to take the bitter with the sweet and allow more of the sweet to come into my world.

I know Mckenna is proud of me, just wish in the end that she was my reward.....

Friday, March 29, 2013

Challenges = Growth





Every weekend as I walk into PCH I am taken back to a time when my world was forever changed. Every weekend as I walk out of PCH I can feel the emptiness I felt the day I walked away from my daughter’s lifeless body. As I walk into PCH I walk past the hallway we walked empty handed without our daughter and it takes my breath away. As I walk out I look down that same hallway and wonder how I ever survived walking out of that hospital without the love of my life. Each and every day I think about Mckenna and some days I can hardly stand the pain that it brings not having her here. The past 2 ½ years I have embarked on an adventure that has made me grow in ways I never thought possible. I have challenged myself and have made it through these challenges a different person.

Challenge one, live on my own. This challenge did not start out with intent to be living alone, but that is how it worked out. Never have I felt so alone and lonely than when I would come home to empty. Darkness fell upon me living alone and luckily did not last too long.

 Challenge two, getting a job at PCH. This was a challenge that has caused me more pain than any other challenge and yet has made me grow more than any other challenge. I felt it was where I was supposed to be. I have been called crazy for working in the same building and place that Mckenna died at. Yes I too have called myself crazy and many other names for taking that job, but I am so very glad that I have stuck with it or else I would not be in the place I am today. This was the start of my full circle moments and it was just the beginning.

Challenge three, doing my internship with the Crisis Response Team. Second full circle moment because it was this is very team that came to our crisis, the team that drove us to the hospital and saw us on the worst day of our lives. One of my very first calls was a child death. I watched this call that played out just like my own. They sat the same way we did in the van. I was in the room when the parents got the news that their 2 year old son did not survive. I watched the parents crumble and fall apart on what was the worst day of their lives. But what told me that I was in the right place was the tattoo of a ladybug on the  foot of the mother of the little boy.  No bigger sign for me that I was in the right place and I was where I needed to be.

Challenge four, the last full circle moment will be when I do my internship in the ED at PCH. I am about to embark on the journey that I have been striving to get to. I feel this is why I have been challenging myself so much, to get to this place. I am absolutely terrified of this internship and I have been battling myself on if this is a good choice. Why would I continue to challenge myself in ways that cause me such pain? Why would I want to be faced with what  I know will happen at some point in the next year…child death? I try and remind myself that I am driven by a little girl that was only here for 9 short months. She is my inspiration and continues to drive me to face these challenges. Though I am struggling with some of all of this right now in this moment, I know I can do it because frankly it is just what I do. Push through and find my way to the other side.

Here’s to the last full circle moment  of the day my life was robbed of the most precious, beautiful baby girl I have ever known. Mckenna mommy loves you beyond words and misses you with every ounce of my body. I know you will see me through this because you have not steered me wrong yet. I love you pumpkin pie.