What is the worst thing in life? There were many challenges and tribulations that I thought were terrible. But nothing compared to losing my baby. I spent many nights crying and asking why. There were never any explanations except that it just happens
sometimes. I may be an over protective mother, and I know I put aside all those things that would be so great, to spend time with my children. Many people criticize that I need to have more fun or let my kids do more stuff without us. But without us, I miss the moments that they are here, and in my life. I live each day challenging myself that I will have no regrets, there are no do overs, and what is gone is gone. Gone but not forgotten.
Reagan will always be a part of me. She is never far from my thoughts. The thought of her death, always leaves me in tears, and this time of year brings up so many memories, that even though they are hard to remember, it is important, she was a person, and no matter how short of a life she lived there is a purpose.
The kids are going back to school Monday. While the excitement is high, it also creates that void that is ever present. See this year Jack too is going to school, which leaves me with no one at home, not that this is a bad thing, but with fall coming it leaves me time to think and remember Reagan. If I stay really busy I can keep her out of my mind, and try to only recall the good days. Next month Reagan would have turned 12, she would have been going to the middle school this year. Every milestone missed brings me to tears. I can not explain the pain that losing her brought, and no matter how much time passes I still cry when I talk about her. Every year I go through the cycle of remembering her and missing her. The day she died might very well be the worst day I ever had. It is a feeling of being punched in the gut and not being able to breathe, and still to this day I can recall that feeling when I think of her. She was a part of me, she grew inside me. I remember giving her CPR, watching the breaths enter her tiny body, I remember how thankful I was to hear the fire truck pull up, because I thought maybe they could bring her back. I watched as they did everything they could, but I could see it in their eyes, she was gone. We got to the hospital, and they made me wait in a little room, I waited for what seemed like hours, and Billy finally showed up, and he waited with me. Then the doctor came in, and her expression told me what I did not want to hear. She was gone. She took us back to see her, lying on a bed with tubes and wires everywhere. I asked the doctor what do we do, I had no idea what the process was, I had never bothered to ask that question, never expecting to need the answer. The doctor told us that she had just lost her mother and said that the funeral home she used was wonderful, and she would set it up for us.
The days that followed were equally as awful, picking out what she was going to be buried in. I could not bear the thought of losing the outfit, so my mother in law went out and bought her an identical one. We stopped at the shoe store to get dress shoes for me, and the display of baby shoes made me cry and I had to leave the store, the clerk gave Billy a pair of pink baby shoes. Then we had to buy flowers, I walked into the shop, and they kept asking me questions, and I remember running out because I felt like I could no longer breathe. Next there was the viewing and the funeral. I remember wanting to give the eulogy, but the minister did not think I would be able to make it though, so he read it for me. Then when you think things can't get any harder you then realize, now I have to say good bye, and leave her.
The point of this is not to make you feel bad, but to remember how precious each moment is, whether you have children or a loved one, cherish them. Those things you were going to do, but you never have time, make time for them. When someone's time is up, there is nothing left but memories, and regret.
I worry about this year, and how I will emotionally handle the time period that is always hard. September and October are always hard for me. This year though, there will be no little one at home during the day to make me feel needed, and at work, my TA ends at the beginning of September. I had hoped to throw myself into work, hoping that I would have a new position by then, but the closer I get the more unlikely that is becoming.
I pray for the strength to make it through each day. I pray for the friends that say it will all work out when I am down, and in a bad place, the ones that listen to me when they have more important things to do, but take the time to spend with me instead.
So if you see tears in my eyes, you will know why, life is making me feel defeated.
It is not length of life, but depth of life... Ralph Waldo Emerson
Things are finally calming down for us, it has been a busy month!!! We moved, Billy was promoted during our long dragged out move. This left Carter, Tayler and I to unload a 26' truck by our selves. Kennedy was stuck baby sitting at a hotel for multiple days, since nothing went as planned. But we are getting unpacked and putting stuff where it should go. However, we are having issues with this arrangement and thus, may not stay in this house for very long. Jack and I both celebrated out Birthdays this month! He is now 5!
We are excited for him to start kindergarten this fall. However, the school next to our house is now not going to be open this fall, so the boys are being moved to a different school in a different town. Carter will be alone in the middle school, we are not sure how this will go, only time will tell. Kennedy & Tayler will be in the high school - Together! The question - is the school big enough for the both of their strong willed personalities?
If you can dream it, you can do it.
For those of you that follow me regularly, I am sorry it has been so long since I have updated my site. Life has been very hectic!
I received a wonderful promotion from work, while it is only a temporary position, I hope that it will work out to be more!
We have also been enjoying the company of both Billy's and one of my sister's families. This has help to remind us that living here can have family too!
While they did all go home, I am grateful for the time I had with them. Each memory is unique.
Time not only makes us older, it makes us wiser too!
Happy 8th Birthday to Harrison! We all love you!
“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder
This year has flown by, I can not believe that it is November already, and that people have Christmas trees and lights up already. My kids are already starting to watching the Christmas movies.
I remember back to when I was a child, and how I loved to go to Grandma's house on Christmas eve to celebrate Christmas with the Root's. I used to love hearing all the stories from everyone and how life used to be, and what they used to do to celebrate, all of the traditions that had come and gone. I remember that when we would get ready to leave Grandma's, Grandpa Root would always give us Snicker bars out of the fridge after our parents told us that we could not have them. To this day I always remember Grandpa whenever I eat a cold snickers, and smile at the wonderful memories I had with Grandpa.
I remember how much I used to love Christmas, how we would all get up and sit around the tree and dad would get a fire going in the fire place. I remember the year that all the legos showed up, and still to this day I have no idea where all those boxes come from. I remember all the favorite toys thru time- Optimus Prime, My little Ponies, Strawberry Shortcake, and of course Barbie.
I remember my first Christmas without my dad, mom took Julie and I to Florida, Disney World and Chinese.
I remember Tayler, Kennedy and Carter's first few Christmases, and how great they were, and then Reagan died and Christmas was just so hard to make happy. This was the turning point in Christmases for me. I no longer waited all year for this special day. I did not care if there was a tree or lights. I did not go places to see decorations, My Christmas spirit was gone. How can I carry on and enjoy events like Christmas when my daughter could not.
I dread Christmas each year. Billy and I were fighting over who got to be scrooge this year, since it is always me. I try so hard to make it great for my kids, but I feel like every year I epicily fail more than the previous year. Every year Billy has to remind me of how great Christmas was for us as kids and that is what we need to do for them, I agree- but it is so hard for me to get into the spirit. I just hate getting out the tree and putting up lights. Last year I had to do it without Billy, and I was so frustrated with decorating.
Then there is that ever more depressing thing about Christmas, it is too expensive. How do you make Christmas affordable? I try each year to come up with ideas to make it work, but nothing has ever really stuck as being a great idea. We did switch the kids to playing a Christmas game with each other and only buying one gift instead of each one buying for each other. That way when they get older they do not feel that they have to buy for each other. I always try to reinforce that Christmas is not about presents, and what it really should be about.
I went to Hollywood studios the other night with the kids to show them the lights, and when they turned on and then the snow machines turned on, I got the urge suddenly to decorate, but that did not last. And now I am back to my scrooge ways of thinking.
I always fall back on the impossible thinking of Reagan, and what if she was still alive to enjoy Christmas, but she is not, and life is so crazy at times, it takes all I have to move forward this time of year. I know life will move on, it always does, and it always will. I love hearing how time can mend, yes and no, it has but then in a moment I am left as heartbroken as the day she died.
With my loss, I did learn to love greater, and to make the memories brighter, so even on the dimmest day they still shine and are that much easier to hold on to. Days like to day those memories help me remember why I need to pull my chin up and get excited for Christmas, so that my kids will have fond memories when they grow up.
I promised myself on Reagan's birthday this year I was not going to cry, and while I tried very hard, I failed to do so. This year Billy and I celebrated her birthday the way we thought that an 11 year old would love to celebrate. So of course we celebrated her birthday at Disney. We spent the day having a wonderful time in her honor. Jack spent the day with us soaking up all the attention that would have been Reagan's, I think he thought we were spoiling him.
That night we had cake as we normally had, but for the first time we did not have angel food cake, this year we had a cookie cake, and we all sang her happy birthday. Tayler may be the only kid that truly remembers Reagan. As time passes it seems that her life was shorter and shorter, and that less people knew her, and even fewer felt the impact that her life had on them.
Reagan's life leaves an impact on my family, for Billy and I it is the void of her not being here, not being able to watch her personality develop or see what a great kids she could have been. For Tayler, Kennedy and Carter she was that little sister that they never got to protect or teach life's lessons to. For Grant, Harry and JJ she is just a picture of someone they never knew, but were supposed to love, because she was their sister.
I always try to imagine what she would look like as each year passes, would she have had the same color hair as the others, hard to imagine, but the other six share the same color, so her's would probably be so too. Would her eyes have changed from blue to brown like the others, or would she have been my only blue eyed little one. Would she be tall like Tayler, or short like Grant? All of these possibilities, but never an answer.
I never really question the idea of her life and death anymore, because after 11 years it has sank in as being the way life is, some times long, some times short, but never ours to decide. I do still question why us, why were we given her for such as short time, and what did I ever do to deserve for my child to die.
I have lost many of the memories that I had from those short days, most things now remembered are like pictures in my mind, but I wonder how long I will remember those. I worry that eventually all I will have left of her are the photos in the albums. I hold on to what I can of her life, I hold on to a shoe that Carter wore to her funeral, I lost the other thru the years, but that one shoe I can not part with because it was there, and despite it being one of the worst days of my life it was a day centered around her. I still remember the day after her funeral, and driving back to Mount Pleasant. I unloaded all the flowers we had received on the counter and thought about how beautiful they were, but how sad I would be because they would die too. Of course they did and then I was left with nothing but dried up petals, all the beauty had gone.
I have walked away with some good from her death, I hug my kids twice as hard, I worry about them twice as much and I am thankful for them that much more, because I want them to know I love them and I worry every day that each moment could be the last.