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.