So I took a mini trip down memory lane today and thought a little bit about the day that Hailey passed away. I didn't go too far because the emotions attached to that day are still very strong, raw, and extremely painful. I've found that avoiding the memory all together has helped me to cope better, however I do fear that one day I am going to have to fully go back and re-live that day. Why? I don't know, but I just feel like I will.
Anyways, as I slowly walked down that memory lane, instead of crying my eyes out, my thoughts were directed to the blessings that surrounded that whole day. So I thought I'd share some of them with you.
I think one of the most profound blessings was that Lexi wasn't there when I found Hailey. A good friend of my mine called the night before, totally out of the blue, and asked if Lexi could spend the night and play with her daughter. That was the first time she'd spent the night at a friend's house in months. I can't even begin to imagine how it would have affected her if she had been here. Not only seeing her little sister cold and blue, but seeing her mother screaming at the top of her lungs and literally hysterically out of control. It was as if the Lord knew that Hailey would be coming home that day and therefore, inspired my friend to call for Lexi to spend the night. If that isn't a blessing, I don't know what is.
Next was the blessing of Hailey going "peacefully." According to the doctor, as he looked at her facial features and "expression," he felt that she passed away while asleep. Now, I don't know if he would have told me otherwise, and I thank him for not doing so, but I'd like to believe it was peaceful. I can't even begin to think of it any other way or I literally start to enter hysterics. When I found her she was laying in a position that she wouldn't just fall into, if that makes any sense. I have also prayed about this a lot because I know that I'll never truly know exactly what happened and it was starting to eat away at me. One day, while I was praying and pondering quietly, I felt Hailey whisper to me, "Mommy, I didn't suffer. My Father in Heaven would never allow me to suffer." Now, I didn't hear that aloud, it was just this strong impression in my heart that I can't really explain, but it was there and profound. I feel so blessed though that she didn't choke in front of me or someone else as we frantically tried to save her and watch the life disappear from her. That would not have set well with me.
Another blessing was the fact that I was the one who found her. Although, I absolutely HATE having that image and event seared permanently into my mind, I can't imagine how it would have been if someone else was with her. I know my parents and sister would never forgive themselves, as they've already told me that. As I sit here with my sister she's telling me how she would never be the same after something like that and also from having to call me and tell me. (Now for the record, I've made it so clear to them that I wouldn't even have to forgive them because I would never have blamed them in the first place. If anyone loves my girls as much as Sean and I do, it's both sets of their grandparents and my sister.) What if it was a babysitter? That would have had the potential to completely ruin a young girl if she experience something like that. I have asked Sean many times if he's ever felt blame towards me, and being the amazing man and husband that he is, he always emphatically says no. What a blessing that is, right there. But if I wasn't the one who had found her I know and openly admit that I would always wonder, what if? I mean I still do sometimes wonder, what if, but I think it would consume me if I wasn't there. Because I was the one who found her, I have to deal with myself only. Luckily, the Lord has been very kind to me and helped me to understand that this was meant to be and part of a bigger plan...not that it makes it okay, but it does make it easier for me to not blame myself.
Along those same lines is the blessing of that beau'ful morning we had together. Let me tell you that Hailey had a way of seriously getting under my skin, but that morning we had the best time together. We laughed and played and went to her doctor's appointment, where she was given a clean bill of health. After her appointment we ran to the grocery store and she wanted her "lellow peesh," potato chips to the Lay person!!! Anyways, my first instinct was to say no because we were going home to eat lunch, but something stopped me and I said, "Sure, but you have to find them!" She went running up and down the aisles and finally found them. I can still hear her yelling, with the hugest smile of pride on her face, "Mommy, me found them, me found them!" What a blessing that I gave in at that moment and had that experience with her. And what a blessing that she went down for her nap, happy as a lark, with a belly full of her favorite "peesh!"
Also as mentioned in the above paragraph, was the clean bill of health she received an hour before she passed away. I am able to look back and know that my baby girl died at the top of her game. Her ears and lungs were completely clear and all was well. She had graduated therapy and was about to start preschool. Which makes me believe even more so that she was meant to leave that specific day because she had been on the brink of death so many times before, yet never crossed over.
We were planning on leaving two days later for vacation, which means that all my immediate family already had two weeks off. So they were able to be with me every step of the way.
My sister, who is also my best friend, had just switched jobs and her new building is literally 15 minutes from my house so she's been able to move in with us and we've been able to support each other through this loss.
Then, there are my dear friends who all left work instantly and were there in the emergency room with me. Talk about being there in a time of need. I couldn't have needed my friends anymore that at the moment, and they couldn't have been there for me any more than they were.
There are also the blessings of my church and the way they work in times of tragedy or emergency. One of the lady's I go to church with came to the hospital and literally took over and did everything for us. We didn't have to worry about anything. She helped us decide when to have the funeral, dealt with the mortuary for us, told them how we wanted Hailey to look, took the clothes down there, took her footprint and hand print for us, cut some of her hair off for us to keep, even brought nail polish to paint her nails. She also dealt with the cemetery for us, scheduled all our appointments for us, walked us through everything, and had the entire service, food, cars, etc. planned out for us. Every little detail was taken care of, and nothing was done without our consent. Not only was this all done for us, but the compassion and respect shown was beyond what we could have asked for. She was literally a miracle worker. Along with this, I had people here bringing me dinners, cards, gifts, well wishes, donations, offering to clean my house, watch the girls, literally anything we needed.
So as you can see, blessings were well in abundance. Those were only a few of the ones that come to mind right now. There are so many more that have come since Hailey's passing, that I plan to share at another time. All I can say is that God is real, He absolutely loves us more than we can ever imagine, He is kind and merciful, and He will take care of us if we allow Him to.