Wow it’s been a while! As my other kiddos get older, life gets busier and I have less time to really stop and think and write. One thing that has not changed and never will is the fact that I think of Hailey every single day, ALL the time, from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed. She’s on my mind just as much as my children who are here. She is there during everything I do with her siblings. When they eat breakfast I wonder what she would be eating and if she would still have eating issues. When they get dressed I wonder what Hailey’s “style” would be. When they leave for school I wonder if Hailey would be bossing Ava around as they walked down then street. When I volunteer in their classes or attend a school activity I wonder who Hailey’s teacher would be, what kind of student she would be, and who she would play with. After school I wonder what activities she would have wanted to be in. Would she be a dancer, a gymnast, an artist, an athlete, or just a kiddo who liked to stay home? During homework time, I wonder if she would gladly sit and do her homework or would she be fighting with me about it. When her siblings are fighting, I always wonder where she would be in the mix. Would she be joining in (probably!) or sticking up for one of her siblings? Who would she fight with the most?
Those are just some of the things I think about everyday. But there are also many other things mixed in there, like when I’m with friends who have children her age and I wonder what she would be like and look like. Or when we go to the river as a family and the kiddos are laughing and jumping off the raft into the water and I think of how much she would have loved that. Or when her birthday comes along and I wonder what kind of party she would have wanted and what kind of toys or books or movies, etc. she would be into. Or at church when I see the girls in her Primary class giggling together or talking about their testimonies of the Gospel and I think about when Hailey said, “Me know Jesus.”
There are so many things to wonder and there are many more to come that I probably haven’t even considered yet. I hate it. I hate having to wonder. Yet, I continue to do so and sometimes wonder if it’s better that I don’t know because maybe what I don’t know is better than what I do know. Maybe her health issues would have caused her a much more difficult life than I imagine. I think as a mother we always imagine the best life for our kiddos. We imagine they will be happy, healthy, well adjusted, and successful; but honestly, I’m not sure that’s what Hailey’s life would have been like. I don’t know if her eating issues or her scars from surgery, etc. would have caused her to be made fun of at school. I don’t know if she would have been constantly sick, as she always was in the beginning of her life. I don’t know if she would have had severe brain damage if they had been able to revive her after she choked. I just don’t know.
What I do know, though, is that she is happy where she is now. She is not in any pain. She is aware of us and knows what we’re up to. She watches over me (and her family and friends) by sending us dimes and Lay’s trucks. I know she is very loved both here on Earth and there in Heaven. I know she has made a huge impact for good on more people than I can count. I know that her legacy is one she can be so proud of and one that she deserves after all she went through in her short life. I know that being her mom has changed me more for the better than I could have ever thought. I know that I am way more compassionate, empathetic, caring, non-judgmental, and faithful than I’ve ever been before. I know that I live my life to make her proud. I know that she will always be as much a part of our family now as if she were still physically here. I know how strong and how weak I am. I know the most horrible pain any mother can feel and I know that I can survive it.
I know that I miss her more everyday, if that’s even possible. I know my life will never be the same or without heartache because she’s not physically here. But, I also know that our Heavenly Father is aware of my pain and heartache and I know that Jesus Christ felt all of it and comforts me when I need it. I know that I will be with her once again and in complete joy for eternity.