Today I sat at Hailey's Place and wrote her a letter telling her how much I missed her and how sad I was that she's not here to help me plan what should be her 4th birthday party. Instead of sitting there missing her to pieces, we should be at Party City together picking out a birthday theme and decorations. I wonder what she would have been into. Would she have wanted a princess party, a Barbie party, who knows, maybe even a Star Wars party for her dad! I can just imagine her big, blue eyes sparkling as she picks out her cake and little goody bag treats. I can see so vividly her adorable, crooked smile as she hands out her birthday invitations to her little preschool friends. I can feel her excitement as the day approaches and her friends start to arrive to celebrate with her. Then I feel that hole in my stomach turn as I realize that all those things are just in my imagination.
We'll definitely be celebrating her birthday in some way. It falls on a Tuesday, so we decided to spend that day with just our immediate family, Sean, me, Lexi, and Ava. Sean and I are going to let Lexi plan what she thinks Hailey would have wanted to do. Then, I think that Saturday, we'll be planning something for anyone else who is local and would like to join us in "celebrating" her precious little life. I will post the info on my blog when plans are more final. However, I just can't promise one of those joyous, exciting, 4 year old birthday parties that most of you are used to.
Tomorrow will be 10 months since I last held, kissed, or heard my baby girl alive. I have to say, on one hand, I can't believe I'm still here and emotionally capable of talking about it. I guess I've come a long way. I also have to say that it's crazy and scary how life can change in an instant. If someone had told me a year ago today that this would be my life now, I would have had them sent to a mental institution. Yet, here I am and this is my life now. Why me? Why her? I have my beliefs and feelings on that, but it doesn't make it any easier. I miss her. I miss her so much it physically hurts.
A year in the life of a 3-year old makes a HUGE difference. This leaves me wondering, pretty much every second of every day, who Hailey would be now...a year later. What things would she be into? What toys would she like? Would she still talk with that funny German accent? Would she be able to write her name? Would she have little playdates with her preschool friends? Who would be her best friend at school? Would she still yell all the time? :) Would her and Lexi be best buds yet? How would she be with Ava? Would she be healthy? Would she know to take small bites while eating so her food wouldn't get stuck? Would she be able to tell me when her esophagus felt tight and she needed to be dilated? Would she still have her little feeding button? Would she still ask for Lay's potato chips every morning? Would she be excited to go on an airplane in a few weeks to visit our family on the East Coast? Would she still be best buds with her Grampies? Would she sleep in her own big girl bed? What would make her laugh? Would she still love to dance? What would be her favorite color?
These are such trivial questions, but they mean the world to me. They would tell me who Hailey is now. I HATE not knowing these things about her. I HATE having to wonder what the answers to all these questions are. I know I shouldn't sit and dwell on these questions, but it's somewhat impossible. I want to know. I want to know who Hailey would be now. It really isn't fair.
As I sit here, typing through my tears, I have to say that I am so grateful for such an amazing support system. I have such caring and compassionate family, friends I know well and friends I've never met, who have chosen to walk this path beside me, even though at times it's very uncomfortable. I am so grateful for my two daughters who are still here with me and the desire they give me to get up every single day and continue on. I am so grateful for a supportive, loving husband who allows me to grieve in my own way. I am so grateful for my faith and how it has literally pulled me through this every single day. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ and the fact that He has felt every single feeling and emotion I do. I am grateful that He continues to pick me up, throw me over His shoulder, and carry me when I need it. Throughout everything, I am grateful to still know that Hailey lives in spirit and that she watches over me everyday and that I will once again be with her!