Khyri Lynn was my perfect baby girl. She was taken from us too soon by the worst of accidents when she fell into a canal at daycare. I am her mom, and this is my story...from dark to dawn...the good, the bad, and the awful. This blog is an outlet, a coping mechanism, a hope that maybe reading my story will help other grieving parents write theirs.
I realize that I have not said much regarding canals and childcare facilities. This is in NO WAY an attempt to bash the childcare provider. It's really not. It is a desperate plea from one mother to many others. It is so important to know the licensing laws and regs for childcare in your state, it is SO important to do your OWN walk through of any place that you leave your children...I did my own walk through, but it wasn't enough. I was uninformed and inexperienced, my kids had never been left with anyone that wasn't friend or family. Look for things like faulty fences, gaps, gate latches, baby proof door handles. Ask about how many kids a day are watched, talk to other parents whose kids go where you are looking into. Do NOT take your kids anywhere where there is water nearby...running, standing, pool, pond, it doesn't matter. It takes a child ONE TEASPOON and 3 SECONDS to drown. Write up a liability waiver, if something happens to your child while in their care make sure that it's not your responsibility to worry about the aftermath...the week after the accident, instead of being able to mourn and grieve for my little girl the way I needed to I worried about financing the funeral, and can I just say it is EMBARRASSING to have to borrow money to take care of your child. Always always always remember that what you don't know CAN hurt you, in the worst possible way. Be informed. Know the laws. If you can avoid it, don't take them to anyone you don't know personally and trust with your life. Drownings like this are 100% preventable. They really are. I would not wish this pain on my very worst enemy. Canals are dangerous, whether they are at a childcare or not. If you live near water, bury your fences...a fence alone is great, but if you bury it 8 inches underground all the way around, it could save you the heartache of burying something much more important much deeper. They make motion activated door alarms for less than ten dollars...put them in your home, put them on your gates. Please don't let my little girl be gone for nothing. If you are reading this you have a chance to make a difference. Share Khyri's story. You could literally save a life.
Holding my baby's hand the day I went and got her dressed I love you Khyri Lynn <3
It was roughly 11:15AM on the morning of Saturday, October 18th, 2014. I was at work, kids were at daycare, and I got the text message that every mother on earth dreads..."you need to get to my house now."
Frantic, I called...no answer...I texted...no answer...finally I get a call back only to hear my daycare providerm screaming "NO! NOOO!" and the line went dead. I am freaking out. I called people to come into work for me, praying to God that it waS just a broken bone or the house had caught fire or something but that my kids were safe. My phone rang a few minutes later, "I'm sorry, Sky, oh my God I am so sorry Sky..." a pause.
"WHAT HAPPENED? WHERE ARE MY KIDS?"
"The canal...the canal she fell in the canal...."
"WHICH ONE? WHICH ONE?"
"Khyri it was Khyri oh my god Sky I am so sorry!"
"I TRUSTED YOU! I TRUSTED YOU WITH MY KIDS YOU TOLD ME THEY WERE NEVER ALONE!"
"Sky, this is (name omitted) from the sherriff's department. There has been an accident with yuor daughter Khyri and I need you to get to the hospital."
I rushed to the hospital, mach 60, blew through the doors and started screaming for my daughter...the nurse took me back...and there she was.
Trauma 7. The room where my world came to a screeching halt. There were at least 10 doctors and nurses in there, I watched, I waited, I prayed. "Please don't let my baby die, God. PLEASE DONT LET MY BABY DIE." I was in and out of the room, trying to stay out of the way. Pacing the halls, staring through the window...praying, crying, screaming, trying not to throw up, trying to convince myself of what I already knew was a false hope, "They are doing the best they can." The cops kept telling me. I went ito the room, I held her tiny hand, I talked to her, I begged her to wake up, thinking that maybe it would be like nap time, where she popped her eyes open as soon as she heard my voice. I rubbed her feet, stroked her fingers, prayed and cried and watched in horror as the expressions on the doctors faces kept changing. I watched the monitor, knowing that the heartbeat was only due to CPR and the oxygen level was only because of the tube. Almost two hours in, the doc came out and told me the worst news..."Ma'am, we are going to keep going, but you need to be aware that even if we find a pulse, she's been without oxygen to her brain for two hours, there's less than a 1% chance that shes going to come out of this, and if she does she will be brain dead...which is essentially...either way...." and about 15 minutes later, he came out, and told us we could hold her hands while they stopped CPR. I watched my baby take her last breath at 1:30PM.
About an hour later, they told me that I could hold her. I held my baby girl for two hours. I held her, I rocked her, I sang to her, I kept checking, thinking that ther ewas no way she was gone, her pulse was gonna come back. It didn't. At 4:30PM I carried my baby out to the van for the funeral home.
I went home, to an empty house, her jammies from that morning still on the couch, chocolate milk spill still in her high chair. And as I walked past the room that my girls shared, I realized that...this was it...this was going to be the thing that defined the rest of my life...things would never be the same, my baby was gone, and I was totally and completely lost.
Breathing. Basic human function, requires no thought whatsoever, just happens, right? Until now. I spent the following 6 days forcing my breath. Funeral arrnagements, burial plots, casket, flowers, cards, people bringing food that I coudlnt touch....breathing....it is still the hardest part of my day. Something so simple, something so basic, the hardest thing to do, and the only thing I can do. That week, I stayed busy. Planned the funeral, got her dressed, anything I could, clinging to every little thing that I could do...because, reality is this was the last time I'd get to take care of her. Every day I was at the funeral home, planning, visiting...holding her hands....staring at her....trying to capture every second that I could before they were gone. Id run my fingers through her hair, stare at her and wait for anyhting at all to move...nothing moved. I started sleeping with her blankie, a Minnie Mouse balnket that I bought her earlier this year. Her seahorse also frequented my room that week...it was a pink seahorse that played lullabies and lit up...we had discovered about a month earlier that it was the only way to get her to go to sleep without crying. I went and bought us lockets...a snippet of my hair in hers, a snippet of hers in mine. I also bought a set of "big sis little sis" necklackes, she has the one that says "Big Sis" and I kept the one that says "Little Sis" for Khaily to have when she's older. I gave her these trinkets on my birthday, the day before her funeral. I hated my birthday. I was so angry that I got 24 and she had only gotten 1. I went with my parents to pick the flowers...they were beautiful arrangements of purple and green...that's how we would tell the kids' stuff apart...Khaily has always been pink and yellow, Khy was purple and green. Some people have siad that they only way to continue is one day at a time...those who have been here know that its more like one breath at a time. In and out, and the hardest part is feeling like I'm wrong for doing so. Our sole responsibility as parents is to keep our kids safe and happy...and alive...and I couldn't. I wasn't there, I didn't know, and I feel every day like I shyould have. That morning when I dropped off the girls, she cried...she always cried, but there was something different that morning. I picked her back up and gave her loves while she clung to me, and then I put her down, took a deep breath, thoguht for a milisecond about taking the day off, said "she'll only cry for a second," and walked away. I walked away. I went to work, and that's it. That's all I got. A hug, a squeeze, and to listen to her cry while I walked away. I didn't know. I didn't know.
Khyri Lynn was my baby girl. I remember being pregnant and being afraid that her and her sister Khaily wouldnt like eachother. They were best friends. Inseperable. Partners in crime. Khyri was a beautiful baby girl with the most beautiful soul. She had the greatest, most magical laugh, and a smile that literally took up her whole face. She loved hugs, she loved kisses, she loved snuggles, and playing, and all the normal one year old pass times. She completed our family. I mean, life was great when it was just me, Jason, and Khaily, but Khyri was the final piece that made us a whole. I can't believe that she's gone. I still find myself thinking that I need to go get her up from a nap, or sometimes I'll start to get her clothes ready for the day...and she's not here. There is an emptiness in our home now that will never be filled. Her favorite toys still scatter the playroom....I tried to clean them up, but Khaily looked at me and said, "Mommy, please don't do that to Khyri's toys...please don't put them in a box..." So they stayed in the playroom.
We have all had moments where we are mad at the Man upstairs. You break down in the middle of nowhere in December, "why is this happening to me?" You lose your job, "What did I ever do to You?" We have all been there, but there is no angrier human than the mom who watches her baby die. I have done everything right by my kids. I don't claim to be perfect, I've got regrets like anyone else, but my kids are my world, and I am a good mom. I baby-proofed til my fingers bled; doorknob covers, drawer stops, outlet plugs, apartments with high windows, guardrails on beds, every thing you can possibly think of to protect kids I did. My kids are my life, of course I did everything I had to. The day that I enrolled them at that particular daycare I had gone to EVERY daycare imaginable, including one on the very outskirts of town, and none of them were good enough for me. None of them were safe enough, none of them had enough staff. When I met this provider, there was instant calm. It was the weirdest thing. I saw the canal, I saw the fence, I asked my questions about them, I got my answers, we shook hands, signed papers, and then I left. I put my trust in what I thought was a system...I assumed inspections had been done, inspections had been passed, and everything was in order...how was I supposed to know? My kids have never been in a daycare, they've never been with anyone that I didn't know and trust personally. I took a leap of faith.
After I left the hospital the day it happened, I was devastated...and then I was pissed...and then I was devastated...and then I was pissed...and so the cycle continues. "What did I do to deserve this?" "Why would You give her to me if you were just going to take her back?" "Why am I being punished?" "Why weren't You watching her better?" "How could You allow this to happen?" "What happened to being all-loving and all-merciful?" Every.Single.Day. And I know that it will be a continuous struggle for the rest of my life. I know that the alternative was her being brain dead, but it shouldn't have happened in the first place! Isn't He supposed to have the final say in these things? He could have given her abck to me healthy and happy and had it just be the biggest scariest thing of my whole life and everything would be fine. But He didn't. He took her. He left me here, and He took her. I know that there was a reason, I just wish that God and I could have a face-to-face sit down discussion about the reason behind it. I am not one of those poeple who accepts that "accidents happen." I don't accept that "sometimes we aren't supposed to know the reason." If I don't know the reason, if I can't have SOMETHING to hold on to out of this, then how am I supposed to go on and just...live? I will never know. And that, that is simply NOT okay with me.
It is currently 4:00 in the morning on the two week anniversary of my angel's funeral. As I've sat up many nights crying, I've often wondered why it is that I am so worried about her being so far away when I know that God is taking good care of her. Tonight...this morning...whatever....I reached a conclusion. Once a mom, always a mom. Whether she is here or there she is my baby. Death doesn't change that, distance, time, nothing can change that. I will always worry about my baby. More so now that I can't call and check on her, or drop in and say "hi." I will spend the rest of my life wondering if she got to bed on time, if she has a cuppy, who turned on her seahorse, is she warm, is she safe, etc., etc. I've heard that everything in Heaven is perfect. That there are no tears, no pain, and all things needed are taken care of...but I'm her mom. I know her like no one else knows her, I love her like no one else loves her. I will worry about her as if she's at a sleep over until the day that I am there to make sure it's all getting done myself. I wonder all the time who she lives with...if she's with my grandparents, my aunts, uncles, cousins...and then I worry about who she plays with...or if she's all alone...I worry that she's sad...that she misses us...I try not to cry, because she never liked it, but I can't stop. I'm Khyri's mom. I should be able to oversee her daily adventures. I'm supposed to be the one taking care of her. Sometimes I wonder if that's why this is so hard....I've handled every detail of her life, for her whole life, and I'm not ready to trust someone else with that responsibility...after all, look what happened last time I did that.... :'(
I wish I could. Every minute of every day. I resent the world continuing, and I really really resent that the world thinks I need to continue with it. I watch the cars, I watch the people...annoyed mom's in grocery stores, hyper-disciplinarian dads doing what hyper-disciplinarian dads do...and I just want to scream. I want to be the chick in the movie who gets overwhelmed and everything around her freezes. I'm not ready to move on. I'm not ready to let go. I still spend the larger part of my waking hours curled up on my couch with a box of tissues, clinging to the stuffed dog that was given to me at the hospital when she died. I hate that no one understands, and I hate that everything is just supposed to keep moving. I am dreading the day when I have to go back to work. I cringe when I take Khaily to school. I just want everything to FREEZE until I am ready to move with it. It's like Im trying to run up a hill that is directly vertical. One step, slide, two steps, slide, three steps...oh damn i broke my ankle. I feel guilty when I have a decent couple hours, I feel guilty when I leave the cemetary, I feel guilty when I don't go to the cemetary. The guilt of the occasional smile is almost unbearable, I feel like a fraud when I play with Khaily because I'm smiling and laughing and answering her questions calm, cool, and collected but on the inside I can feel the fibers of my heart snapping one by one. I miss my little girl. I look around the house, and I can see her spinning in the living room, I can hear her footsteps running through the kitchen, I can feel her climbing up in my lap. Everything hurts. And I want it to stop. I just wnat everything to stop. Just for a minute. Just long enough to breathe for like a second. But it won't. And that.just.sucks.
I feel guilty every single day. I know that I couldn't have saved her, I know that there's no way I could have known, I know that it wasn't my fault...but the guilt is horrible. She cried every day when I left her there, but the provider insisted that it was only for a few minutes and when I picked her up she was always great and fine and everything was okay, so I called it separation anxiety. I realize that when things like this happen the mind remembers things differently, example: I am convinced that her cry was different that morning. Whether it was or wasn't I honestly don't know. What I do know, is that my urge to just take the girls and leave that day was stronger than normal. Maybe it's becuase I just didn't want to go to work, or maybe it's just another thing my mind is doing to torture myself. The most recent bout of guilt is over the snow....I chose to bury my baby because the thought of her tiny body being burned to ash was just too much...but now there are several inches of snow on the ground and all I can think is that I left my baby out in the cold. Logically I know that this is ridiculous, I know that it is only her shell out there and that her tiny angel spirit is perfectly fine and safe and warm...but every time I go to the cemetary all I can think is, "I hope she's okay, I should have buried her with a warmer blanket, I hope she's okay..." Tonight I went out, brushed the snow off of her, and someone had put a blanket on her grave...I don't know who did it, but if you ever read this, thank you. Thank you for sharing my thoughts. I miss her so much. Even on good days I feel like someone is punching me in the stomach with every breath...and that's on the best of the good days...
It's the worst part. Not just not knowing exactly what happened, but not knowing what she would have been like now...so much could have happened in the last month...would she be talking now? How would her personality have changed? What would her favorite things be this month? Would she like the snow? What would she have looked like on her first day of preschool? Kindergarten? High school? I was robbed of so many experiences with her, and so was she. It's not fair. My sister told me the other day that all parents who lose a child grieve the same but differently. The ones who lose an adult child grieve the life their babies had, the ones who lose a teenager grieve the past and the future, those of us who lose our babies grieve for the short time we had and the long time we won't have. People sometimes say it's better to celebrate the life than to mourn the death...but what do you do when there wasn't enough life to really celebrate? My baby had a wonderful year on earth, she was so loved and so loving and the happiest baby ever and that is such a comfort to me sometimes, but she didn't get to live. She wont' get to graduate high school, she'll never cure cancer, or be president, she won't get to do any of the things that we as humans are entitled to do...and it's not fair. That's nothing to celebrate, that is raw loss. There's a reason why there's no definition for a parent who loses a child, its because there are no words to explain it. None. You can try, I've tried a million times to decide what exactly I "am." And at the end of the day, I'm just a broken mom. We all worry as parents about "what if soemething happens to my baby," "oh i can't imagine if that was me," we see horrible stories on the news, we hear terrible things that have happened, and we cringe to think it could happen to us...its a whole different level of mortification when it happens to you. I made Khaily french toast sticks this morning, and wondered to myself if Khy would have wanted them or if she would have thrown them on the floor...likem she did with most things she didn't want...there are so many unknowns, and the worst feeeling in the world is knowing that they will be unknown forever. I will never have the answers to the questions that I have, the worries, the hopes, the what if's...I will never know...and I don't know if anyone can ever truly have closure without knowing.
Well...technically July 16, 2012. Every woman who has had a baby knows, that you know you're pregnant before you buy the test. It's just a feeling. And it's different from the "oh crap I think I'm pregnant" feeling, it's a "I'm pregnant, time to make sure," feeling. I was sitting in my apartment, not sure what triggered it, but I knew I needed a test. One of my friends at the time, coincidentally had forgotten to take her meds to work with her. Seeing the opportunity to have a reason to leave the house without outwardly saying, "I think I'm pregnant be right back," I grabbed her meds and headed out. I got there, told her i thought I was pregs, went to the dollar store and got a test...positive...went to the store to get a higher quality test, positive, faintly positive, negative. Crap. SO I called the doctor the next morning and got in immediately. Negative, negative. I demanded a blood test, because "there's no such thing as a false positive" right? Blood test was positive. Doc told me that the only reason for the negs was that the hormones were dropping, which could be a miscarriage. I went home bawling. I had an appointment two days later to make sure that the levels weren't droppimg, but that 48 hours was horrible. I was so afraid that I was going to lose my baby. When I went back for the follow up everything looked great. Heart rate was amazing, hormone levels were climbing...the baby was healthy.
This pregnancy was tougher than my first as far as morning sickness went. With Khaily it had only lasted a couple months, was pretty much isolated to every hour on the hour before noon, and didn't keep me up at night. Khyri was different. I was allllways sick. Freaking always. For the whole time. I also have gall attacks when I'm pregnant, which were also soooo much worse with Khyri. I was so excited for her to be here, and for all the madness to stop. See, Khaily, though I love her with all my heart, was horrible timing...didn't really like the guy I was with at the time (that changed, fell in love, married, divorced, blah) didn't have heat or power for two months, her biofather went to jail...my pregnancy with Khaily was nothing short of a nightmare with a rainbow at the end of the tunnel. I was SO excited for Khyri. Good job, madly in love with her dad, fairly stable in almost all aspects...so exciting.
We went to the first ultrasound, and found out my due date was March 21, 2014. Khaily had been an emergency c section, so the safest route was obviously a repeat c section, so we scheduled for March 14th at noon.
I loved getting ready for her...my nesting period was amazing, our apartment was tiny so every nook and cranny was scrubbed and disinfected like crazy. She was due during tax time, which was awesome because it took the stress out of shopping. I wanted pink and grey to be her colors. That didn't last much longer than the shopping trip haha. We got her the cutest little all in one pack n play...ya know, bassinet, changing table, diaper holder, mobile, the works. It was grey with a big pink monkey on it. Her carseat was dark grey and purple. Her very first baby blankie was the softest white blankie with pink hearts and pink silk trim. The jams we bought her to wear home were white and green...St. Patricks day being three days off and all...we bought binkies...i'm a total nonbeliever in binkies but its always good to have them on hand just in case...she ended up hating them, the only pics i have of her with one is when she was sleeping and I put it in her mouth myself...supposedly reduces the risk of SIDS and I'm a paranoid mama.
We anxiously awaited her arrival. counting down the days, taking pregnancy pics every week for the last ten weeks, spending time with Khaily getting her ready for her new sister. My last day at work was March 8th, and on March 9th we took Khaily for one final family of 3 outing to go see the bears from bear world at Blast Off. This was probably the longest week ever. I cleaned, and I cleaned, I folded and refolded her clothes, washed bottles, disinfected her carseat and swing and everything else. March 13th I sat up cuz I couldn't sleep...I couldn't eat anything after midnight and I remember at 11:58 popping a handful of Peanut M&Ms into my mouth, downing some water and being sooo bummed cuz I still had half a bag of M's. I made sure everything was ready to go to the hospital...blankie, outfits, carseat, all of my stuff...and I crawled into bed for a three hour snooze.
We had to be at the hospital by 10 the next morning. I was up at 6. I showered, packed Khaily's bag to go to my mom and dad's, cleaned the house again, made Khaily breakfast, did my make up...anything to stay busy and make time go faster. I was so excited. I took the final prego pic, we loaded up, and went to the hospital.
She made her grand entrance at 12:29PM. Six pounds, twelve ounces, twenty inches long. She was beautiful. Olive Italian skin, dark hair, lungs of steel. Ten fingers, ten toes...perfect. I remember when the doctor held her ove rthe sheet so I could see her...it was amazing...I didn't get to feel that with Khaily, cuz I had HELP sydrome with her and everything's kind of a blur. Khyri had me wrapped around her finger the second I saw her face. I knew that as much as Khaily is a daddy's girl, Khy was gonna be my mama's girl...and she was. She was such a good baby.
We took her home on the 16th. I was so scared. I went to my parent's house in Wyoming when I had Khaily...this time my mom wasn't here to help. She was so small, so fragile. She was a collicy baby. I learned quickly the power of youtube...there was a 2 hour lullaby series on there that I would turn on at night to help her sleep. For a while she would only sleep in her swing. I remember one night she fell out of it, and it scared the crap out of me...we had drug our mattress into the living room, and she landed on the mattress so she wasn't hurt, but still it scared me to death. I cried with her, snuggled her, and she fell asleep in my arms...it was one of her favorite places...always one of her favorite places.
I remember telling her I would always keep her safe. I promised her nothing bad would ever happen to her. It had never occurred to me that bad things could happen when she wasn't with me. I miss her so terribly. The numb never goes away. I think back to the happy times...like when she was born...her first bath, the first time she held her head up, her army crawl stage...I remember her favorite baby toys, all her quirky little baby habits...and I just can't believe she's gone...
At a doctors appointment with Khaily
Beautiful baby girl. So perfect, so healthy, so happy...I miss you so very much my angel
Time to go home! Yay! How badly I wish that I could bring you home all over again.
I have said since the day that everything happened that I don't know how to continue living without her. I know that I have to, I know that I can't run away, I can't hide, I can't go on a bender...I have no easy way out, because I have Khaily. We all have times in our lives, depressive periods, where we tell everyone that we are just going through the motions...but I don't think anyone really knows what it means. I figured it out today. Today was my first day back at work. I didn't want to go. I have no desire whatsoever to be among the living. I know that everyone means well, but every time I hear, "I'm so sorry," "I can't imagine," "if there's anything I can do..." I find myself screaming in my head, "Please just leave me alone! I don't care that you're sorry, no you can't imagine, and unless you can raise the dead there's nothing you can do!" Everyone that I know gets to go home to their family at night...tuck their babies into bed...sing them a lullaby...read a story...watch a movie....I too, can do all these things, and I do, with Khaily....but it will never be the same. I will never feel the same overwhelming sense of joy in these moments...every moment I have with Khaily right now, though precious and very very dear to me, is tinged with a sadness that I can't escape. The sadness of knowing that I once did all these things with BOTH of my girls. The sadness of knowing that once was will never be again. I used to go to the store and think, "Oh! Khyri would look so cute in that, I'll have to come back and get it for her!" And it was exciting! Today, I was in ShopKo...cutest little outfit...black pants, baby pink shirt, cute little black belt around the middle, and I thought to myself, "That...would have been so cute on Khy..." knowing that I will never get to find out. When I dressed her before the funeral I was torn between buying her a brand new outfit to wear to Heaven, putting her in one of the gorgeous dresses that she already had, and putting her in play clothes...because angel babies like to play too right? I finally settled on an outfit that I had bought matching for her and Khaily...a pink ruffle top, with a zebra "flower" thing on the left shoulder, and zebra print leggings...I hadn't done laundry that week so she's wearing a blue pair of Khaily's socks, and the night before her funeral, on my birthday, I went and bought them matching rainbow leapoard print slippers...so she would be comfy and her piggies wouldn't get cold. I did her hair in pigtails...I don't know why...she never liked having her hair done...but the few times I had done her hair, pig tails had always been my favorite on her....and I put in a zebra stripe bow in the right side.
same shirt...different pants and shoes instead of slippers...but...isn't she beautiful?
I don't really know how zebra became her thing...it was always my thimg haha..for Valentines day the month before she was born Jason bought me a fuzzy zebra print blanket, and when we first found out I was pregnant he bought me a zebra print body pillow...I guess it just carried over, I've always associated it with her. I wonder a lot of the times if I should have put her in long sleeves...especially when I go to the cemetary and see the snow all over her grave...I know it's warm in heaven, but I'm her mama..I will always worry about her. She has never been safer than she is now, and still I worry.
As I was saying...about the motions...I figured out what it meant today. I peeled myself off the couch at 6AM. I cried. I got in the shower, dressed, went to work, paperwork, meeting, phone calls, left work. Ran some errands, threw some ice melt over the stairs, went to dinner at my brothers. Now I'm back on the couch. My whole goal today was to get back to my couch. This day had no goals, no expectations. I did what I had to do purely because I had to do it, just to get back here. I have never been this person. I LOVE my job. I love my residents. I love spending time with my family. I have always gone to work knowing that I might make a difference in someone's day that day, and today I didn't even try. I smiled at the appropriate times, I accepted the hugs and the "welcome backs," I spoke when spoken to and did as I was supposed to...but for the first time in my life, I had an entire day of hollow "have to's."
Other mother's that I have spoken to have told me that, while it never goes away the pain does become more of an ache. They've told me that I will smile again, that someday there will be happiness again, just of a different shade. I can't see it. I can't see how I will ever be anything more than a hollow shell of what I once was. I hope that they are right, because if they aren't then it is going to be a tragically long lifetime for me.
I don't know what it is about rubber duckies that always made me think of her. Even when I was pregnant
ducks always stood out. When she was a baby she made the most adorable little duck face, I'd share a picture but they are all stuck on my other computer. Ducks are on my mind tonight because of a cake I made a few hours ago. I bake, I love to bake, someday I hope to own a bakery...I've been thinking about starting some kind of a fundraiser in Khy's honor, something where I can go to low-income daycares and baby proof them til my fingers bleed, I was thinking maybe "Cupcakes for Khyri..." all proceeds would go towards baby proofing equipment and travel expenses...but it's still just a brainchild for now. Anyway, the cake. My niece is turning 18 in a few days, and since baking is my thing and I've kind of made a habit of making my nieces cakes on their birthday I jumped on board to do her cake. I was sad at first, because it's a birthday cake and my mind naturally gravitated towards the knowledge that Khyri won't get anymore...I will still make a cake on her birthday, every year, because it's still her birthday, and it's still my birthday...every time a baby is born it's a day for the mom too...I call them "earth days." I always tell my mom happy me-day to her on my birthday, and I will continue to celebrate my me-day on March 14th, because that day changed my life, and whether she's here or not, that's still her day. It's hard to think about those things, especially with the holidays coming up so soon. Khyri's birthday...I still don't know whether to call it her birthday because that's what it was, a single event that won't repeat, or her 1st birthday, because it was that too...there's lots of things Im still working on new wordage for...her birthday was so exciting. We had it at Jen's house, because she had the space, and I wanted it to be a ducky theme, a princess ducky theme even...I had so much fun baking for that party...she sat in her high chair while I decorated and ate the trimmings off the cake and the cupcakes that weren't up to my standards. I spent hours on those creations, while Jen decorated. There weren't many that showed up, which was fine, because everyone that was close to her was there. She ripped at her gifts, destroyed her cake, ran off the sugar high...I don't know about you, but I don't think I can remember a single birthday of the 24 I've had where something didn't go wrong..whether it was my hair, or the food, or people being buttheads, it seems like birthdays are an open invitation for a crapstorm...but not hers...everything was perfect at her party...the morning before wasn't great, we blew a tire on Yellowstone (luckily right across from les schwab) and spent three hours that I desperately needed to shower and get ready and get the kids ready, getting the tire fixed...but her party was perfect. It makes me sad to think of all the birthdays that she won't be here for, but I will always remember that the one she did have was absolutely perfect. She was surrounded by family (Jen is family too,) she had a ton of fun, and at least I got to make her one cake...that's more than some mom's can say, and for that I will be grateful forever. I have spent some time thinking about the mom's who lose their babies to SIDS, or stillbirth, or miscarriage, and sometimes I think, "that would have been so much easier. i wouldn't have the questions about what happened that day, I would know that she had passed peacefully, safe and warm..." and then I have moments where, even though I am dying inside, even though I am so devastated that she's gone, I am SO thankful that I got 19 months with her. She changed my life. I can't imagine not having the chance to get to know her, to watch her grow for the little while that I got to. The pain, while it's unfair and tragic and the worst thing I have ever felt in my life, is only this intense because my love for my baby girl was so intense, and that is a beautiful thing.
Highlights of her first year, I made this collage and put it on Facebook on her birthday
My beautiful birthday girl
It took her foreeeever to get through that cake...but she was so cute doing it!
It won't. It will NEVER be okay that my baby died. It will never be okay that I was robbed of opportunities that I EARNED as a mother. It will never be okay that my daughter lost her sister, my parents buried a grandbaby, my siblings had to let their baby niece go. It's not okay. I can go through the motions and make everything look like it's okay. I can hold my tone on the phone, I can nod and politely accept the condolences without turning into a puddle (usually,) I can go about my business in the day and get everything done, but that doesn't make it okay. Every single second of every single day she is on my mind. Everywhere I look I see her, every child I see that is roughly her age reminds me of her, every inch of my house has a memory, and so do most of the places I go. WalMart reminds me of how she used to lean forward in the seat in the cart to rest her head on me while we shopped, my brother's house reminds me of her playing in the dog dishes or chewing on an Idaho Potato Boy, Sunday night dinners, and holidays she will never have again, the car is the worst of all, because I spend so much time there, and there's only one carseat where there were once two. She is EVERYWHERE...and nowhere. And it's not okay. No one should have to force themselves to function. It's not okay that this happened. I know that it's not okay, and I spend enormous amounts of effort everyday trying not to let it make me bitter. I have to tell myself a hundred times a day that anger is not a good look on me, that it won't fix anything, that I don't want to go to that dark place. But sometimes I just get mad. Sometimes it just happens, and I know that it's part of the "process," but I also know that the process doesn't end. I know that I am going to be stuck in this cycle of bad days and worse days for the rest of my life. I know that I am going to have this hole in my heart forever, and it's going to hurt EVERY DAY. I know that she's gone, I know that she's not coming back, I know that there is nothing I can do about it. I am aware that I have to continue living, that life keeps going whether I want it to or not. I know all this, and it's still not okay. It's also not okay to tell me those things right now. It's not okay to tell me to just keep breathing, It's not okay to tell me that she's in a better place, that she's always with me, that she isn't gone, that it will eventually be okay, that I can't do this to myself, that there's light at the end of the tunnel because right now, I just.don't.care. Right now, my baby dying is a gaping open wound, and all the things that people say to make it better are like throwing me into a pool of vinegar. I know the intentions are good, as does every parent in my position, but it doesn't help. Every once in a while it might, but today is not one of those days...today my baby is gone. Today it has been four weeks since her funeral. Today she isn't with me, and she should be. Today there is no light, there is no hope, and eventually is just a daydream. Tomorrow will be an entirely different range of emotions. Today, I'm mad.
We went to the Festival of Trees last night. It's a local event put on every year where different groups decorate and donate a tree, there's singing and music and a gift shop, very...holiday-y. We went because my niece's school choir was performing, and I try my best to be there for these things. I knew it was going to be tough, I don't want to celebrate the holidays at all let alone be around a bunch of smiley happy families that do. I walked in and looked around at all the trees, the kids running around with their goodies, saw all the smiling parents and found myself thinking, "Khyri would love this.....she would be all over these trees...I wonder what would catch her eye in this in little gift shop..." and the tears started. Then stopped. I bought a couple little angel gadgets. Then while waiting for the performance, Khaily was up to her ususal shenanigans, and a woman asked me, "Is she your only one?" I thought about it for a second, caught off guard and unsure how to answer, I said, "No, my one year old passed away in October." And I left. I will always have two kids. She's still mine even though she's not here. I'm still her mom, she's still my baby...I know this...but it's hard to have to explain it...Khaily is not my only one, she's just my only one here. I hope that they have Christmas in Heaven. They would almost have to right? A birthday party of some kind? I don't want her to be alone on Christmas. I don't want her to have to look down and see all the other kids happy with their families. I don't want her to miss us. I just want her to be happy.
I haven't made your bed yet
There's clothes still on the floor
Today I may find strength
To open up that door
I'll go in and be quiet
As if you are asleep
And then I'll lay down on your bed
And fall apart and weep
Your tiny socks are empty
Your cuppy's still here too
The only thing that's missing
Is my perfect little you
Your blankie's on the couch now
I sleep with it at night
I dream about your little hugs
You always held so tight
I can't bring myself to clean it up
I don't want to move your stuff
If I leave it here then maybe
You will want it bad enough
To come back home and get your toys
Your blankie, and your cup
And maybe when you leave again
He'll let you take me up
Just to see where you are going,
Becuase a momma needs to know
If I knew that you are happy
It wouldn't hurt so bad you know
If I could see that you are really there
That you haven't disappeared Then maybe I could go a day
Without so many tears
I got brave today. It's the five week anniversary of her passing, and in a moment of grief I went into the girls' room. I haven't moved anything in their since it happened. Khaily sometimes goes in there, but she doesn't do it very often. I took down the pack n play a few days after, because the shadows at night made it look like she was there...and that was just too much. She had a toddler bed that she slept in for a looong time, but around August for some reason she just wouldn't stay in bed at night. There are two doors into her room, so we tried locking the main door (knowing we could still get in through the door that adjoined our room to their room,) that didn't work, we tried standing outside her door and just holding the handle, she was strong as an ox for a one year old, so she quickly figured out that it was just us and that didn't work, so we brought the pack n play back out and that's where she slept for the last couple months. Anyway, I went into their room, sat where her pack n play once was and cried. I laid on her bed and cried, the turquoise sheet still stained with juice or whatever she had spilled on it...a ball and an empty mountain dew bottle hidden underneath...found some of my missing Tupperware hidden in the room too (she had always had a thing with getting into the drawers in the kitchen, always after my bowls and measuring cups.) A shoe in the corner, balloons, a burp rag...all little reminders that she was here. I looked around and thought to myself, "Ya know what mama, if she was still here you would never have allowed this room to stay this messy for this long..." So I cleaned it. Just as I would have if she were here. I put the stuffed animals on her bed, picked up the dirty clothes, straightened up...and found a dirty sock. Not something that would normally open the floodgates, but my sister has been doing my laundry for me, and if I'm not mistaken it is the last thing of hers left unwashed...the dirt on the bottom proof that she was here...that she ran through the house, that she climbed on the furniture, that she lived. After I cleaned, I looked around, and I remembered something my sister told me a couple weeks ago. She told me that she didn't die all at once. That it would be slowly over time. The smells would fade off of her blankets, we'd start boxing things up...and that hit hard today. Their room is clean. Her last mess is gone. Another piece of her. I'm so afraid of the day when she really is just a memory. The day when all physical evidence (other than pictures of course) is packed away. I will never be ready to say goodbye, it's been too short of a time since I said hello. Her clothes are mostly put up...I still have a few boxes from our last move that have her newborn clothes and stuff to go through, but all her recent clothes are packed up, the pack n play is down, her room is clean, her diapers have been given away, her carseat isn't in the car, I wiped down her high chair without thinking a couple weeks ago...it's still in the kitchen, but the mess is gone, she really is disappearing one tiny thing at a time. I'm not ready. I will never.be.ready.
I'm watching Glee...the episode where they're honoring Finn (Corey Monteith)...and his mom just said something that hit home... "I used to see it on the news, and I'd shut it off because it's just to horrible to think...I used to think to myself 'How do parents go on after they lose a child? How do they breathe? How do they wake up every morning?' But you do wake up, and for a split second you forget...and then you remember...and it's like getting that call over and over again...you don't get to stop waking up..you have to keep being a parent even though you dont get to have your child anymore..." I remember doing that when the Sandy Hook shooting happened...I shut off the TV and cried. I picked up my kids and held them and I prayed for all those parents who didn't get to hug their kids anymore. I remember thinking that they were the strongest people in the world, I couldn't imagine going on if anything ever happened to one of my girls...and here we are now...now I know that it has nothing to do with being strong, because I'm not...it's been 34 days and I feel weaker than I have ever felt in my entire life...waking up doesn't happen because you want to, waking up happens in spite of what you want, breathing is involuntary, that's just physical science...no choice there...and it hurts so bad to breathe...the pressure on the heart is unbearable with every breath...we go on because there's something bigger than us forcing it.
Today is Khyri's one month funeralversary. And I'm dying. Milestones...one day, one week, one month, one year....all the "ones"...are so hard...after her angelversary 6 days ago, I could no longer say "one month ago she was...." Now I'm having to find farther back pictures...and the farther back I go the harder it hits that she's really been gone. She's really been gone for a month and 6 days today. Life has really continued on without us. I say "us" because I am still frozen. I am still stuck in the day that she died, all day, every day, no matter what I do, it's on my mind. Every day I watch them do CPR, every day I hear myself begging them not to let her die, every day I hear myself praying that God won't take her away from me. Every day I feel the clock stop at 1:30. I don't know how long it will be October 18th. Every day I repeat every conversation I had that day, and for the six days after leading up to a month ago today. I remember picking the flowers, I remember going to pick a plot, I remember getting her dressed for the last time, doing her hair in little pigtails. I remember sitting in the office at the funeral home trying to get the layout of her funeral program exactly perfect. I remember going to the funeral home on my birthday to give her the slippers that I had bought the night before, crying over her body and not wanting to leave. I remember thinking about asking the director if I could stay the night with her one last time. I remember sitting in the blazer in the parking lot begging God to give her back, to let me take her place instead. I remember running my fingers through her hair begging her to wake up...even though she was three days gone and I knew it wasn't going to happen. There is no emptier feeling than this. None.
Some nights the ache is absolutely crippling. It's there all the time, it never goes away, but every once in a while it gets absolutely unbearable. You read about parents who go off the deep end after something happens to their kid, and tonight I understand why. I don't know what it is about tonight that is so much worse than any other night, but I feel worse than I did the day it happened. Maybe it's the shock wearing off, maybe it's the 6 hour day at work getting to my head because that was too much "normal" all at once, maybe it's because it's her one month funeralversary, I don't know, but tonight is HARD. I can't stop crying. I can't stop thinking about how I used to hold her when things were bad and she fixed it all, I can't stop wondering if she'd be awake right now if she was here, I miss her so much and the pain is SO raw that I just want to go to sleep forever. I know, of course, that that isn't an option. I don't really know if Id want to anyway because in every dream I've had she dies again. I am so over watching her die. It's not like it happened the one time and then it was over, I watch her die all over again almost every night. I have only had one dream where she wasn't gone. I remember in my dream thinking she was gone, but someone told me she was in the other room and I went in and got to hug her. God what I would give to be able to hug her. Or even just see her. For even just a second to know that she's alright. I stood outside her bedroom door a bit ago. Hoping that I would hear her cry, but knowing that I wouldn't. The battle of logic vs emotion is absolutely insane. I know logically that she's gone. That she's not coming back. That life is going to continue without her and whether I am willing or not i have to participate because I still have Khaily. I know that she can't feel anything. I know that she's not cold in the snow. I know that she's safer now in her comfy little casket with her giraffe and her seahorse and her blankie than she would ever have been on earth. I know all that logically. But my heart tells me shes still here. That if I listen close enough I will hear her cry. That it's not real and I'm going to get a phone call saying that there was a mistake. My heart tells me that if I keep waiting and praying that God will hear me and give her back. My heart is full of crap, and my brain knows it. I keep thinking that if they had just kept going for ten more minutes she would have woken up. Medically that's insane, two hours of CPR is pretty substantial. Medically, theres no way she would have had a functional brain. Medically, a pulmonary hemorrhage isn't something you come back from. I KNOW that she's gone. But I can't let go. I am so scared that I am going to forget what she sounded like, what she felt like, her little noises and quirks. I'm afraid that she's going to stop feeling so real, that her life will start to feel more like a dream, I don't want that. As bad as it hurts I want to remember her every single day. I want to remember every detail of her, I want to remember it all. I don't want her to fade out into a memory. What I am feeling is raw, and it's real, and it hurts like hell....but it's only because I know her...and I held her...and she's my baby and I KNOW that it's not a dream...I'm so scared of it becoming less than what it is...a horrible, God-awful, tragedy.
There's always a light at the end of the tunnel. I've told myself that with every challenge I have ever faced. Until now. There is no light at the end of this tunnel. The light at the end is the white light we walk into when we die, and it's so far away that it isn't even a comforting thought. Everyone always says that life is short. Those people have never lost a child. Those people have never felt 24 hours expand to fill an entire week. Those people don't know how it feels to have every ounce of hope that they had stripped away, every ounce of security, every ounce of mental rest. I miss my baby every single day. And because I've lost her, because Khyri is gone I am in constant fear for Khaily. Even thinking of letting her out of my sight ever makes my heart stop. Because Khyri is gone I will never be able to trust another person to take care of Khaily or any future kids that may or may not even happen. Khaily went to my mom and dad's for a week after Khy passed, and I was worried even then...with my own parents, who managed to raise 5 kids with nothing happening to any of us. I now have worries that I never thought I would about kids that I don't even have yet. I worry about losing another one constantly, and I don't even know if there will ever be another one. I've tried telling myself that I will see her agian someday, that I'll be there before I know it, that she's still here in a million little ways...but that's not comforting. Every day I wake up praying that I can get up. Every day I spend the majority of the hours waiting for night fall, because sleep is the closest I can get to her. There is no light. There are glimmers in the walls, I still have Khaily, I still have Jason, I have tiny little beams of light still, but they aren't enough to fix the darkness. I walk heavier than I ever have, not in reference to my actual footsteps, but to the weight of my own heartache. I have never had to put so much effort into each step, so much "you can do it" into every task in the day. I am broken to pieces, and every single day I have to physically hold myself together so I don't fall apart from the weight of the tears. No one should have to live this way. No one should have to die this way. I no longer fear death, because not only is it the only hope I have of seeing my baby again, but it's the only thing that will stop the pain. I am here soley for Khaily. I have no other function in life than to be here for the daughter that still needs me, and I am so grateful to God that for the first time ever they weren't joined at the hip that day, because I can't imagine losing them both. There is no light. Only a never ending tunnel of darkness. A darkness caused by the knowledge that I will never be the same person I was 5 weeks ago. I will never have that happiness again, I will never smile or laugh or carry myself the same way again. Because even in the best of circumstances, even if everything I ever wanted comes true for me, it will never really be all I wanted...because all I wanted was to have my kids with me forever. I wanted to keep her so bad. And her being gone means that I will never have what I want, there will always be someone missing. At dinner, at family events, during holidays, there will always be someone missing. </3
Today I woke up, and instantly wanted to pull the blankets back over my head. I spent most of today fighting a religious battle...I have always been a God fearing woman, even in my lowest lows I have never seriously questioned God or Heaven, but there is something about losing Khy that has shaken my faith in ways I never thought possible. The only experience I've had with death besides this was my Gma, and that was what I thought the worst thing imagineable. Me and my family watched her battle in and out, for the last few years of her life. We would wander in and out of her hospital room, taking turns doing whatever she wanted or needed. I spent quite a bit of time in her "apartments" at the two different homes she went to...the second one only necessary because her things were removed from the first one after a hospital stint that we thought was her last. My Gma was the go to, the all knowing ever wise, "somethings wrong gotta go talk to Grandma," "having a crappy day, need a Grandma hug." It was so hard when she went. But even then, even when someone I still needed so much was taken away, I didn't question God's existence. I knew where she had gone, I knew she was still with me, I knew I'd see her again someday. Even though I know Khyri went to the same place, I find myself wondering all the time if it's really there, and dreading the thought that she might just be GONE. I hate these thoughts, and I hate the pain that comes with thinking them. Today I watched some online ministries from a local church that I hadn't gone to in years. I watched, I read the Bible (which has been a regular practice since she left, just searching for hope and answers,) I thought back on my life and was overcome by panic....I have had some horrible lows, and I have done some horrible things. What if the good outweighs the bad? What if I don't make it there to see her again? What if God can't see past my past? I decided that I needed a meeting with the pastor...but not just any pastor, it had to be the one that did her funeral. See, the pastor we picked was picked because he too, lost a child to drowning. He was the only one who understood exactly (well, almost, his son was 17 years, not 19 months,) what we were going through. Today I kenw I had to talk to him. He doesn't usually do the sermon at church, hes the assistant pastor so he usually just stands in when needed, but I just had the feeling today that I needed to go to church, because it is TERRIFYING to all of a sudden out of nowhere have doubts about things that you've never doubted, especially when those things are the only lifeline you have to a loved one lost. So, I get to church, and lo and behold...the head pastor is out of town, and he was presiding over services. God had heard me, GOd knew that this specific person was who I needed and put him there. I am still struggling, this one incident didn't fix all of my fears, but...I saw God today...and now there's a tiny bit of hope that I had thought I had lost.
Balloons in the wind
I watch it all
I take it it
I run my hands across the dirt
I feel the tears
Embrace the hurt
I see your photo
A plastic stand
Remembering the day
I held your hand
The tears fell down
The clock had stopped
Just half way past one o'clock
I hear myself begging
Calling your name
Knowing our home
Would not be the same
I remember your hands
So soft, but so cold
I remember the ache
The longing to hold
The raw black despair
The draining of hope
The desire to quit
Unable to cope
The rage like a twister
Our lives falling down
I remember that week
Driving through town
Awake and unwhole
Unable to sleep
Barely the strength
To lay down and weep
Icy tears on sunken cheeks
I wanted to take your place
I imagine you in Heaven now
Wrapped in satin and lace
I sit here and watch
Pinwheels and balloons
I imagine you sitting
Here with me too
Parked in my lap,
Kicking your feet
I miss you so much
My baby so sweet
The world is moving forward
While I am frozen still
I don't want to join the masses
In a way I never will
I go about the motions
I try to do my best
But the life that I'm now leading
Is so unlike the rest
I watch your sister sleeping
Thankful she's still here
But still my heart is broken
From not having you hear
I go to work...well most days
I do the daily deeds
But still my heart is broken
From missing what it needs
As mothers we all worry
That our kids will leave here first
We go through all the nightmares
And we think that that's the worst
We don't think it will happen
Not to us, and not to ours
I never thought I'd see the day
I'd search for you in the stars
I know the world moves forward
But that's something I can't do
The world doesn't know the pain I feel
As the Mommy without you
I've reached a place I haven't been before. Instead of being completely overrun by tears all the time I've spent a lot of time the last few days feeling...well, nothing. In intervals. Not all at once. I'll break down for an hour or so and then there's nothing for hours and hours and then I'll break down again. I don't know if it's my mind's way of defending me against the holiday season, or if I'm just so exhausted that anymore emotion would be my downfall. I don't know. But I don't like it. I would rather feel everything than nothing. I can't even say they've been "good days" because they really haven't....I haven't been happy, I'm still sad, I just...shut down? I guess? That's the only real way I can describe it. I took Khaily to the doctor the other day, and someone mentioned (no names to protect the innocent) anti-anxiety meds so I can "function" to do the daily things that I need to, but honestly...I don't want to. I'm not there yet. I don't miss being able to get up and clean and run errands and cook and all those things I used to do everyday, I don't care right now about any of that. Khaily is taken care of, I'm making myself go to work, what more does the world really want from me? It's been SIX WEEKS...it's still new! It's still fresh in my mind and I'm still grieving! It's not like losing a grandparent who has lived their life, or a friend you grew up with, or a dog....it's my child. I carried her, I gave birth to her, I spent every single day of her life with her, and now she's gone and the world just expects me to be back and "functioning" after 6 weeks? Seriously? It's not only unrealistic, but it's offensive. Not a single person that I interact with on a daily basis has been where I am, not a single person I talk to every day has literally had a chunk of their soul ripped away from them with no way to get it back. No one should worry about my functionality right now. I will get there in my own time. Christmas is three weeks away, this is certainly not the time to even MeNtIoN what I "should" be doing or how I "should" be feeling right now. She only got one Christmas. It was a beautiful Christmas, but she only got one. I don't want to put up the tree, I don't want to stare at her stocking and know she isn't going to be here to open anything or have Christmas dinner or any of the things that families do. Christmas is a family holiday, and part of mine is missing. So, that being said, go back to your family and your functional lives, quit worrying about prices, presents, travel plans, and just HUG YOUR KIDS. Be thankful that you have them to hold, because some of us aren't functioning this Christmas, some of us don't have our kids to hug, and some of us would give every present, every meal, every dollar, every breath...just to be able to even see our kids this Christmas. I would love to hold my baby, but just looking into her eyes and knowing that she is okay would be enough for me this year.
The wreath I made to take to Khyri...I miss you baby bear </3
Twas two weeks before Christmas And all through the house A heartache was looming No laughter could douse A tiny tree sat In the corner with care Cuz Mom wasn't ready To take it out there To that cold little grave
Dirt still in a heap Where so often she'd go To ponder and weep Her baby lay sleeping So quiet and still Taken to soon
And against Mommy's will Her stocking still hung Like the Christmas before And Mommy still hoped She would come through the door This Christmas would be Unlike any other And so flowed the tears Of the heartbroken mother "She'd love all these lights," She thought to herself As she thought of their plans For the elf on the shelf What would she wish for? And what would she wear? Would she want to make cookies?
Or would she not care?
Would she watch the TV shows? Or just fall asleep? When she got to see Santa Would she laugh, run, or weep? Mama's heart broke As she thought of it all And prayed as she let Another tear fall "Please, God, if you could," She prayed into the night "Give my angel a kiss, And sweet dreams tonight."
We just got home today from the benefit thrown for Khyri back in Wyoming. She would have absolutely loved it. She would have chased those cars all over the place, been in the way, probably spilled hot chocolate on herself. Her face and hands would have been sticky with donut goo. She would have had a blast. It's a beautiful thing to come from a community like that, one that still has your back after you've long since moved away. I loved it, but I wish it hadn't had to happen. She should still be with me. I spent a large portion of this event hiding because of the tears. I wore make up for the first time in ages and it was a mess. I felt so guilty when we left Thursday night. I've never missed more than a day at a time going to the cemetery. It felt like I was leaving her home alone, it was awful. I worried the whole time we were gone that something had blown away or something. It's good to be home now, but there's such a gloom here without her. Back to the day-to-day, back to going through the motions. This is not the way our lives were supposed to be. I went and got her tree tonight, the one we will take to her. It's 3 feet tall, and has butterflies as a topper. We are going to take Khaily out next weekend and decorate it. Never in my life did I think I'd have to spend a Christmas without one of my kids. It's a hollow feeling that is just too intense for words. Even if I could describe it, I don't think that I would, because it would be incapacitating to all who read it. I would give anything to have her back. Not just for me, but for everyone. She was going to do amazing things with this world, I just know it. It pains me to see the tears in Khaily's eyes. She's still really little, so she doesn't feel it the way that we do, but every once in a while, like tonight, she will just break down. She cries out her name. It's heartbreaking. She asked me tonight about the daycare. She doesn't understand why she isn't going there anymore, which I think is a blessing...she doesn't need the details right now. She told us on the way back to my mom's from the fundraiser, "Guys you see Khyri waving in the clouds right? Wave back to her hurry!" She says little things like this all the time. I love her innocence. Today she asked if we saw Khyri's face in the clouds. Simple little things that just mean so much more than she understands.
Special Thanks: Star Valley Jaycees, Lindsay and Matt Kallgren and girls, Tylee Williams, Kayla and Dakota Kennington, Mom and Dad, Jess, Britt, Mikey and girls. Raffle contributors: Toe Candy, Idaho Falls Radio, Logan Wilkes, Bank of Star Valley, Lifetime Fitness, Apple Athletic Club, and so many others that I just can't remember at the moment thank you all SO much for all the love and support and for putting together this wonderful event for my little girl.
Sometimes I sit outside her bedroom door and pretend she's taking a nap. Sometimes I put just a tiny bit of her shampoo on the back of my hand so I can smell it. I carry one of her socks in my purse...it hasn't been washed, but it doesn't smell...and even if it did I think I'd keep it with me anyway. I talk to her pictures. I think of nothing but her, especially at bedtime, cuz I hope that one day I will think about her hard enough to be able to have a dream where she doesn't die. I have cried for at least an hour a day every day since she left. Sometimes three or four. I remain unconvinced that she is really gone. I know it logically, but I can't believe it. I sleep with her blanket every night. I write letters to her. I hug Jason not only because he's him, but because now he's all the her I have left.
I force myself to think about everything about her every day so I never forget...her weight in my arms, her head on my shoulder, her smell, her smile, her wave, her blown kisses, her actual kisses, her hugs...her hugs were my favorite thing... I hear everyone telling me that with time I will feel better, but some days I feel so helpless that I just don't believe them, and most days I don't want it to be better...I want to be frozen in time with her forever. I can't even fathom moving forward in the world right now. Sometimes I holler her name from the living room...even though I know she's not going to come running I don't want to move on. I feel like I am abandoning her by letting go. I will never let go. I never said goodbye. I told her it was okay as long as she was happy, I told her I loved her, I told her I missed her, I didn't say goodbye, and I never will. I still buy her toys sometimes. All I want is thirty seconds to hold her. That's it. Thirty seconds to know that she is okay and happy. I am torn about going to see a medium because I know that it's not what the Bible says. I have the most unimaginable fear of going to hell now. I can't imagine not being where she is. I hate getting up in the morning. I hate going to bed at night. I hate going to the cemetery. It is depressing and it makes me cry. But I feel like I'm letting her down if I don't. I'm drawn to it, and once I'm there I don't want to leave.
Christmas is two days away...and I miss my baby so badly. We have donated toys and cash, not just because we wanted to help, but also because there was no way I was going to survive the season if I only got to shop for one kid. I try to make myself feel better by remembering how last Christmas, she didn't really care about much...seriously she was 9 months old and was probably just annoyed that I woke her up that early...but I just know that she would have loved it this year...she always loved lights and sounds...and this year she could have helped decorate and everything...she could have made a gingerbread dude with us, I didn't let her last year because I didn't want her to eat the candies...because they were hard enough to break teeth and juuust big enough for her to choke on....we went out to look at the lights last year, but she fell asleep in the car...even at the light show in Iona (the real pretty one set to music.) We haven't done any of those things this year, in fact if it weren't for Khaily Christmas wouldn't come at all probably ever again...but we put up the tree...and hung up the stockings...we took a smaller tree out to Khy and decorated it...but it's all so hard. Holidays make it so much more real...because someone is missing...Thanksgiving was tough, this is a nightmare. This is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. There's supposed to be laughter and singing and joy and excitement and in our house there's a big black cloud over everything....there are no smiles (except Khaily, thank God) there is no laughing...I am dreading Christmas day...I am dreading tomorrow (Christmas Eve)...I don't want any of it to happen without her...I feel helpless and out of control because I can't stop time. Everyone keeps wishing us Merry Christmas, and telling us to "stay strong" and "keep our heads up" and "do it for Khaily." I do EVERYTHING for Khaily now, because I'm certainly not doing it for myself or Jason, so to be told to do it for her is frankly a slap in the face...through the whole thing I can assure the world that Khaily has not been forgotten or ignored for even a second, she is all we have now and believe me we know it. And there is no keeping our heads up...we get up and function everyday purely for the fact that we still have Khaily, and we do not possess the Power to stop our own hearts. The sentiment is appreciated, but...it's hard to hear from people who know that this is anything but a Merry Christmas.
Last year was the best Christmas of my life. And I know that it will always be the best, because every Christmas from now until forever I will be missing my baby. We got the girls up bright and early, did Christmas at our apartment, left the wrappers all over, drove to Wyoming to do Christmas with my family, and then came home...it was amazing. Everyone was happy...the girls were spoiled rotten...and it will never be that way again....and it truly truly is the most devastating thing....
It's Christmas...and it is SO hard...so hard to stay positive and not let the sadness just swallow me whole...so hard to not be bitter and angry on such a happy holiday. I'm trying to be thankful that I got to have a Christmas with her at all, because there are so many families out there who dont even get that...miscarriage, still birth, infant death...so horrible to even think about...and it's hard to think in such a crappy situation as this that it really could have been worse.
Me and Jason were talking earlier, while we were waiting for Khaily to go to bed so that Santa could come. We decided that she knew....because babies can still talk to the angels...and maybe she knew before we even got her, that her time would be so short. Maybe that's why she was such a sweet smiling little human to every single person she met. She knew she only had a short time to make an impact. That's why she hugged me different that morning. That's why it happened when neither of us were there to see the horror. We like to think that her and God had a conversation before she came...and it went kinda this way...perhaps...
God: "It's time for you to go to Earth, but you are a special soul, so I will bring you back before the world can tarnish you...in exchange for this short life you will have, I will let you pick your parents yourself." Khyri: "Look how happy that little girl is! Can I share her parents God? I just know that they will love me the best." God: "Yes child, but knowing that you are coming back to Me soon you must make sure that you love them as much as they love you, hold them tightly, and be the sunshine in their lives, so that when I bring you back, they willl have only the most amazing memories of you, and you will impact many lives...they will be very devastated when I bring you home...make it worth it."
Khyri: "Okay, I promise, I will love them my very best."
I've noticed that the wierdest things make me want to cry...make the ache a little stronger...make my breath catch. All the way down to whats in the pantry. There are muffins that I bought shortly before it happened that I can't make...because I bought them for a quick breakfast that the kids could eat in the car...my birthday cake mix is still there, because my birthday was the day before her funeral and I can't bring myself to bake it...because it was meant for a happy day that ended up being so very sad...I haven't made an actual "meal" since it happened, because me and the girls used to eat together at the table every night (Jason doesn't get off work til late)...these little things are SO hard...there used to be a box fan in my window, but it fell and broke, and Khy started using it as her own personal trampoline. I had to put this up to put up the Christmas tree, and I had to take a picture of it before I did.
I've referenced before a conversation my sister and I had about how she doesn't die all at once, but over time as little things start to change...the box fan was one of those things. Holidays passing without her are some of those things. Her smell fading out of her blanket is one of those things...even the last time I mopped the kitchen floor, erasing the last imprints of her little feet, was one of those things. Today is a day when my heart hurts badly, as I think of all these "things." Every day my little girl gets a little farther away, and as hard as I try to think of it as me getting closer, it's just not that easy. Today is 11 weeks since her funeral. 77 days since I saw my baby's face. Tomorrow is 10 weeks she's been gone...since I held her, or heard her voice...since I got hugs or kisses....since our family was whole...and it's all just hard.
I have a lot on my mind today, on her ten week angelversary....
Last night me and Jason were talking, and I said some hateful things towards the person responsible for this nightmare...and he told me I was being evil...and at first I was mad, because how dare he tell me I'm in the wrong for feeling the way that I do? I am MAD. I am PISSED OFF every single day. She should have been watching her, she promised me that the kids were NEVER outside alone....and now my baby's gone....
In this conversation, after saying the mean things that I did, Jason informed me that he has (supposedly) talked to someone close to her recently, and that she cries all the time and is heartbroken because she knows that we trusted her with our most precious treasures, and she failed. Whether or not he said this to make me feel better is irrelevant. As hard as it is to think outside of myself, outside of my own pain and grief and heartache, sometimes I lose sight that this didn't just happen to us...it happened to her too. This does NOT excuse it and I will NEVER forgive her....but maybe I need to step outside of my selfish mean thoughts and realize that she has to live with this forever too. It's not the same for her, she still has all of her kids and her family is intact and she doesn't know what it is to be the mom without the child, to come home every day knowing someone is missing, to have a gaping open wound in her life that will never heal...but she has guilt, she has sorrow, she has the knowledge that this IS on her...and I'm sure that that is far worse than I can imagine...I'm sure that just like she can't understand my pain, I can't understand hers either...again, still furious, no excuse, and I absolutely think that something needs to come of this...but...my thinking mean things isn't going to do anything more than hurt me more than I'm already hurting...and I really don't need anymore weight on my heart.
I'm mad that she gets to see her kids every day and I don't, I'm mad that she couldn't take TEN SECONDS to usher the few kids she had that day inside before handling whatever was happening, I'm mad that she promised me over and over again that she never left them outside alone, and I'm going to be mad for a long time, probably on some level forever, because my little girl is GONE. But at least I don't have the guilt of being at fault. I have asked myself a million times, "why did I take them there?" "how could I NOT see this coming?" "why did I trust her?" "why didn't I just take her home with me that day to get the diapers?" but neverhave I had to ask "why did I leave her outside?" or "why didn't I just take them all in?" I could never handle having another mom's loss on my hands....so today I pray for her...as hard as it is...that somehow she can find peace in God....and that she can stay strong for her own kids...because just like Khaily still needs me, her kids still need her.
As much as I would like to wish her ill will, as much as I might say that I hope she hurts...I really don't want anything bad to happen to her, I'm just not that kind of person. Theres a difference between being held accountable, and being tormented...she should be held accountable, but I wouldnt want her to be tormented...regardless of what happened that day, Khyri loved her...Khyri loved everyone...and I know that she cared for my kids...doesn't excuse the negligence, but I know...and I hope that she knows that I know...but I'm still mad.