I feel like I've talked a lot about myself and not nearly enough about Hailey. A lot of you knew Hailey or know me well enough to have heard about Hailey all the time, however, I'm aware that there are many of you who never had the chance to meet her or hear about her personally, so I decided to fill you in!
I figured I'd start with who Hailey was when she passed away. I'll probably work my way backwards in future posts as I begin to tell her story, but I decided for now, I'll start with the most recent.
Now, where to begin? Let me start by saying that Hailey was brought here to this Earth with a purpose. I guess technically, we all are, but I believe her's was different than the norm. She was born 8 weeks premature, was very underweight her entire life, and struggled through more medical procedures and situations than most of us will in our entire lives, yet she was the most vivacious, strong, determined little girl I've ever seen. I'm sure her strong willed and determined personality is what got her through those 3 short years of her life. She NEVER gave up! She fought for every single thing she achieved.
Hailey absolutely LOVED life. Nothing ever seemed to get her down. No matter how sick she was, she technically never complained. (Partially because she couldn't talk for the first year or so of her life, but even then, she rarely ever cried.) She had doctor's appointments several times a week for the first couple years of her life. At one point, she was seeing a gastroenterologist, pulmonologist, allergist, immunologist, pediatric surgeon, physical and occupational therapist, and her pediatrician. Yet, she was friendly and outgoing with every one of them.
On the outside, she looked pretty much normal, except for being small for her age. Although, there was one point when she had a little black string coming out her nose and taped to the side of her cheek so her doctor could do "esophageal dilatations" easier. She never touched it or pulled on it.
On the inside, was a whole other story. Her esophagus didn't work correctly. (I'll explain more about her condition in another post.) Her lungs were weak. And her bowels were ridiculous. That girl could blow out a diaper like no other! However, her mind was sharp as a tack! And her vocal cords...WOW...they could break the sound barrier.
For being as little as she was physically, the voice that came out of her was insanely loud. She LOVED to yell. By yell, I mean, YELL ABOUT EVERYTHING, AS LOUD AS SHE POSSIBLY COULD!!! I'm sure it had something to do with her small size and large mind. She was often treated younger than she was because she looked so little, so maybe she used her YELLING to remind us all that she her mind was totally normal! Sometimes, by the end of the day, it would literally take all I had to not take a piece of duct tape and put it across her mouth and wrap it completely around her head just leaving a slit for her to see out and a slit for her nose to breathe from!
Hailey could get under my skin like nobody could! She knew exactly how to push my buttons and get me going, yet at the end of the day, she would always give me a kiss and say, "Me love you Mommy." Of course, my heart would melt and I would hug her so tight.
One of her favorite sayings was, "RIGHT NOW!" One day in church she decided out of the blue that she wanted some candy. When I told her I didn't have any with me, she refused to accept that answer. So she ended up throwing a huge tantrum, screaming at the top of her lungs, "ME WANT CANDY, RIGHT NOW!" I finally had to take her out and make her stand in a corner in the foyer until she was done. It took her a good 10 minutes to finally stop yelling that phrase over and over again. Of course, I was starting to get frustrated so I decided to count how many times she said it...I finally lost count somewhere around 72! When she would get mad at Lexi, she would put her hands on her hips and yell, "LESSIS (Alexis) JANE, COME HERE RIGHT NOW!" (Hmm...wonder where she got that from!)
One of her favorite things to do was go to her therapy sessions. She absolutely ADORED her therapists! One of my favorite memories ever is seeing her looking out the window as I came down the hallway and hearing her yell, "Mommy here, mommy here!" I can't even begin to tell you what I would give to relive one of those moments again. Every time we'd drive by her therapy building, she yell, "Mommy, there me thewapy is!" "Me see Bephnie" (Her occupational therapist was Stephanie.) She took so much pride in her accomplishments. When she finally learned how to step up onto the curb without using her hands (at the age of almost 3) she refused to ever let anyone help her. Not to mention, that she would have to step up and down off every darn curb she could find! But she was so proud!
She loved the water! Her first day of swimming lessons, she started to scream halfway through. I let her finish and then asked the teacher what happened. She said she wasn't sure, Hailey just all of a sudden said, "All done," and when her swimming teacher told her she wasn't, she decided to scream and cry the rest of the time. The next day I told her if she didn't cry I'd take her to get a cheeseburger at McDonald's (one of her fav's!), and of course, she didn't let out a peep. From that point forward, every single day, she'd get out of the pool with the hugest, proudest smile on her face, run up to me and yell, "Mommy, me no cry! Me no cry at swimming lettons!" That's one memory that gets the tears flowing every time!
Hailey LOVED to eat! EVERYTHING! Lay's potato chips were her very favorite. Every single morning when I'd walk into her room she'd say, "Peesh, me want lellow peesh." We have no idea where she got the word peesh for chips, but many times we'd say, "Ch- Ch- Chips," to which Hailey would reply, "Ch- Ch- Peesh!" I also tried to change up her beloved "peesh" with something a little healthier, first Baked Lays, then apple chips, but she figured it out and refused to accept anything but her "lellow" bag of Lay's potato chips.
Gosh, I could go on forever about this precious little child! Those are some of the things that really stand out when I think of my little Hailey. But, now I'm on a roll, so I'll continue my stories about Hailey in my future posts. Also, if any of you have any funny or heartwarming memories of Hailey, please feel free to share them with me! I love to hear about other people's experiences with her. You can either write them in the comment section or email them to me at the address on the top of the blog and I'll eventually publish them all.
Wow, do I miss my little girl.